Child Welfare

Plymouth Swallows Gymnastics Club Procedures for dealing with Child Welfare Concerns

Allegations made by a child or observations of unusual behaviour or injuries should never go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon. Any such concern must be reported to a Welfare Officer as soon as possible.

When speaking to the child or young adult keep questions to a minimum and tell them you have to report this to other people. Never promise to keep it secret.

Report concerns to the Head Coach Boys – Lloyd Byrne, Head Girls Coach - Jemma Maskell or Welfare Officer as soon as possible and if you can, record anything you have been told on the BG Incident Report.

The Welfare Officer will make sure that the concerns are recorded and investigated if necessary and will agree whether the parents should be notified.

The Head Coach and or the Welfare Officer will either

  1. i) Compare the report against the PSGC Codes of Conduct and forward it to the Club Committee for them to decide on actions to be taken – the majority of issues will be resolved through this route.
  1. ii) Forward it to the Club Committee and notify British Gymnastics
  1. iii) Pass the report directly to Social Services or the Police in the most serious cases.

Social Services have a legal duty to investigate all reports of potential child abuse and this may involve the members of staff involved making a statement or giving evidence in court. If the report is passed directly to Social Services and involves anyone connected with gymnastics it will automatically be reported to British Gymnastics.

If the Head Coach or a Welfare Officer is not available concerns should be reported to the most senior coach. If the concerns are very serious the senior coach should report them directly to Social Services or if criminal in nature to the Police. Written incident forms should be submitted to the relevant organisation and British Gymnastics, if also relevant, within 24 hours.

If there is any uncertainty about the course of action, advice can be obtained from Social Services (01752 308600 or out of working hours 01752 346984), British Gymnastics Ethics and Welfare Manager
NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (0116 234 7278)

24 hours Child Protection Helpline (0800 800 500)

If any type of allegation is made against a Welfare Officer, British Gymnastics must be informed and sent an incident report.

All written and electronic records will be held securely within the Club building and the minimum number of people involved in all cases. The Club accepts its responsibility to its staff to ensure that all allegations against them are thoroughly investigated and discharged in a fair and appropriate manner ensuring discretion at all times.

Any member of staff, parent or gymnast involved in internal disciplinary proceedings has the right to appeal following the Club’s Complaints Procedures.

All parties involved will be informed of the outcome of the report so long as this does not compromise any party’s confidentiality.

Plymouth Swallows Gymnastics Club Procedures for dealing with Child Welfare Concerns

Appendix - Reporting concerns directly to Social Services or the Police

Any report submitted directly using the British Gymnastics report form should include:
1) The nature of the allegation
2) Description of any injuries or bruising
3) Detailed description of the child’s account of how the injuries occurred
4) Any times or dates or other relevant information
5) A clear distinction between what is fact, hearsay or opinion.

Reporting directly to Social Services or the Police should not be delayed by attempts to gain more information. When reporting the concern, record on the form the name and designation of the contact you have spoken to and the time and date of the call.