BPGC Child Protection Policy and Procedures

The Bermuda Pilot Gig Club ( BPGC ) recognizes its duty of care with regard to children involved with its rows, classes and events. BPGC recognizes that abuse can take many forms including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. BPGC is committed to practices which protect children from harm. All members of BPGC who work with children accept and recognize their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm.

Definitions

For the purposes of this document;

– a child is any person 15 years of age or less.

-an adult is any person 18 years of age or more.

BPGC believes that;

– The welfare of children is paramount.

-All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origins, religious beliefs or their sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.

-All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly.

-All members of BPGC working with children will be clear on how to respond appropriately.

BPGC will ensure that;

-All children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity.

-The duty of care to children will always be put first.

-A balanced relationship based on mutual trust will be built which empowers the children to share in the decision making process.

-Enthusiastic and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism.

-Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.

-All adults associated with BPGC will provide a positive role model for dealing with other people.

-Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.

-This policy will be regularly monitored by the BPGC Board and will be subject to Annual Review.

-All members of BPGC working with children shall receive Stewards of Children Certified Training offered by Stewards of Children and Revealing Secrets ( SCARS ).

-Every member of BPGC working with children shall be subject to a Criminal Record Check by the Bermuda Police Service.

-All BPGC members working with children will sign the Child Protection Declaration, attached as Appendix B.

-A safe and healthy environment is created, avoiding situations where abuse or allegations of abuse may occur.

Disclosure of Abuse

If a child confides in you that abuse has taken place;

-Listen carefully to what has been said. Allow the child to tell you at their own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Don’t ask questions that suggest a particular answer.

-Don’t promise to keep it a secret. Use the first opportunity you have to share the information with a person responsible for child protection. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share this information with others. Make it clear that you will only tell the people who need to know and who should be able to help.

-Reassure the child that they did the right thing in telling someone.

-Tell the child what you are going to do next.

-Speak immediately to a person designated by BPGC to be a Child Protection Officer. Those being;

  • The BPGC Chairman
  • The BPGC Vice Chairman
  • The BPGC Location Captains

It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police.

-As soon as possible after the disclosing conversation make a note of what the child said, using the child’s own words. Note the date. Sign and date your record.

Recording

-In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from the disclosure made in confidence, the details of the allegation or reported incident will be recorded and shared with a statutory child protection agency, using the Protection Incident Form attached as Appendix A.

-An accurate note shall be made of the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties involved, the reasons why the matter has not been referred to a statutory agency ( if that is the case), and the name of the person reporting and to whom it was reported.

-The record will be stored securely by the Child Protection Officer and shared only with those who need to know about the incident or allegation.

Rights and Confidentiality

-If a complaint is made against a member of the BPGC Board, he or she will be made aware of his or her rights.

-No matter how you may feel about the accusation, both the alleged abuser and the child who is thought to have been abused have rights to confidentiality.

Accidents

To avoid accidents, supervisors and the children will be advised of Club Rules and procedures regarding health and safety and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds. Children will be advised of the clothing and footwear appropriate to the activity to be undertaken.

-If a child is injured on a BPGC row or event, a designated first aider will administer first aid and the injury will be recorded for BPGC purposes by informing the location Captain. This record will be countersigned by that person.

-Children are not to leave any BPGC row or event location without adult supervision. School representatives have arrangements for students after rows are completed.

– If a parent has not collected the child, it is the responsibility of the school representative to stay with that child or make arrangements to take them home.

Child Protection Procedures

Responsibilities of BPGC

-Identify at the outset the persons responsible for child protection.

-Ensure the children are supervised at all times.

-Participating schools will be given a copy of the BPGC Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

Responsibilities of participating schools.

-Each participating school will hold a register of every student participating in the current rowing classes or events and will keep close at hand a contact name and number in case of emergencies.

-Each participating schools will arrange for the signature of the BPGC Waiver for each participating student.

-All school representatives have the responsibility to secure collection of their student participants. It is not the responsibility of the BPGC Board or coxes to take the children home.

Unsupervised Contact

-The BPGC Board will ensure that no adults have unsupervised contact with children.

-There will always be two adults in attendance when working with children although only one adult needs to be present in the boat.

-If unsupervised contact becomes unavoidable, steps will be taken to minimize any risk.

Physical Contact

-Adults will only touch children when it is absolutely necessary in relation to a particular activity.

-Adults will seek consent of the child prior to any physical contact and the purpose of the contact shall be made clear.

Managing Sensitive Information

-Permission will be sought from the individual child or participating school for the use of photographic material featuring children, for promotional or other purposes.

Suspicion of Abuse

-If you see or suspect abuse of a child while participating in BPGC rows or events, make it known to the person responsible for child protection. If you suspect that the person responsible for the child is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the BPGC Chairman or Vice Chairman.

-Make a note for your own records of what you witnessed, as well as your response, in case there is a follow up in which you are involved.

-If a serious allegation is made against any member of BPGC, a school representative or venue staff, that person will be immediately suspended from BPGC activities until the investigation is concluded.