Safeguarding and Protecting Children
Kent Swimming is committed to the safety and welfare of all their athletes and young helpers and, as an association affiliated to Swim England, has adopted and abides by Swim England’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures Wavepower 2020-23 and its 2023 Safeguarding, Welfare and Culture Plan which has links to all aspects of safeguarding and protecting children, from parental expectations to reporting concerns.
If at any time you would like further guidance or support, there are a number of people you can contact:
- Your own Club Welfare Officer(s)
- Kent County Welfare Officer: Chelsey Denney
- Swim England South East Region Welfare Officer: Andrew Giess
- Swim England London Region Welfare Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Swim England Safeguarding Team: email@example.com Tel: 01509 640 700 - Option 1 then Option 3
In an emergency and/or if you are unable to contact any of the above, support can be gained from the following statutory agencies:
- Police (24 hours)
- Children’s Local Authority Services
- Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
- NSPCC Child Protection Helpline - 0808 800 5000
Wavepower is intended for anyone involved in these activities and offers practical guidance and information on mandatory requirements and best practice. What must be noted is that the responsibility to safeguard children does not belong to any one person. Instead it belongs to everyone who plays a part in delivering our sporting activities, recognising when issues might need escalating to the Swim England Safeguarding Team or the statutory services. If you would like further local advice you can contact the Kent Safeguarding Children Multi Agency Partnership.
Advice for Young People
Our clubs should be providing an environment where all young people have the ability to achieve their full potential in a fun and enjoyable environment. To enable this, there needs to be a commitment from all young people to abide by their club’s code of conduct and expected behaviour of each young person.
We want our athletes to:
- feel welcome and safe in a friendly happy atmosphere
- receive support, encouragement and praise when you achieve
- receive support and help in any areas that you find more difficult or challenging
- tell someone if you feel unhappy or afraid w
- not to be afraid to say 'stop' if there is something that you are not happy about
- know that your concern with people who really need to know and, once you have told someone about your problem, something will be done about it.
If this is not happening within your club, you can contact:
- Swimline: 0808 100 4001
- Childline: 0800 1111
- NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000
The following websites provide useful information that will help our young athletes:
The Child Protection in Sport Unit (part of the NSPCC) has some really useful information for Children and Young People
Organisations that support and provide advice on self harm - this is not an exhaustive list however and, in addition, GPs and schools can provide guidance on local services that may be available:
- YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
- SelfharmUK is a project dedicated to supporting young people impacted by self-harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask any questions and be honest about what’s going on in your life.
- Harmless is a national voluntary organisation for people who self-harm, their friends, families and professionals.
- Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
- Smaritans provides confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress and despair.
Advice for Parents
You play a key role in ensuring a child’s safety within our sport. Clubs make a commitment to focus on the wellbeing of your child. Remember, many people are volunteers and give their time to help ensure Kent aquatic athletes develop their skills in a safe, protected environment. Parents are asked in return to make a commitment to the club in line with the club’s commitment to your child. Ways in which parents can show commitment include:
- taking an interest in your child’s activity and progress, and being supportive
- finding out what the club has to offer in terms of coaching sessions and competitions
- being punctual when dropping off and picking up your children for/from coaching and competitions
- taking an interest in your son/daughter’s swimming and have clear lines of communication for keeping up with your child’s progress
- if unable to stay at training/competitions, ensuring your son/daughter has the necessary equipment, and ensuring that the club has an emergency contact number for you - a mobile number is preferable - and leaving it switched on
- advising the club welfare officer or team coach/manager if your child has any particular needs, such as allergies or learning difficulties, to ensure they are provided for in the best way possible, and making sure that any relevant new concerns/illnesses or ongoing treatments are reported appropriately
- signing and adhering to the club’s Parent Code of Conduct
The Child Protection is Sport Unit (CPSU) has produced a great video highlighting how parents behaviour sometimes change when their child is placed within a competitive environment: Magic Sports Kit Video. In addition, they have developed some short videos highlighting the immense benefits that parents can bring to club environments: The value of positive parental support.