Athletics Ireland Child Safeguarding
Athletics Ireland is committed to the safeguarding of all children and vulnerable adults in athletics. The welfare and protection of children and vulnerable adults in our sport is paramount. Our safeguarding policies have been developed as required by national legislation, policy and guidelines as outlined in Children First.
Club Children’s Officer and Designated Liason Person
We recognise and respect the invaluable work of our Club Children’s Officer and Designated Liason Persons and the varied and complex Roles and Responsibilities they fulfil. The Club Children’s Officer helps to create a child centred environment that promotes the welfare of children and young people engaged in our sporting activities. This guidance will act as a support for the CCO’s/DLP’s helping them meet their child safeguarding and child protection responsibilities.
The role of a Club Children's Officer (CCO)
- Safe Recruitment and Selection of Coaches and Leaders.
- Garda Vetting is one of the key elements of the safe recruitment process.
- The CCO should ensure that Coaches, Leaders and Parents are vetted in line with AAI Garda Vetting Policy prior to taking on their role within the club.
- Liase with Athletics Ireland and/or local sports partnership to secure Child Safeguarding Training for coaches/committee members within the first 6 months of taking up a new role.
- CCO should monitor the 4 year refresh of Garda Vetting and SG1.
- Understand the Athletics Ireland Code of Ethics & Child Safeguarding Guidance.
- The CCO should be knowledgeable about child protection and undertake any training considered necessary i.e. Sport Ireland Safeguarding 1 and 2 courses.
- Encouraging the participation of parents /guardians within club activities to ensure maximum enjoyment and participation for each child.
- The CCO has a reporting line to the Clubs Committee.
- Acts as a support to Coaches and Sports Leaders on Child Protection issues/concerns.
- Be a presence at juvenile training sessions.
- Ensure that children know how and whom they can report their concerns to within the club.
- If there are grounds for concern about the safety or welfare of a young person you should react to the concern.
- Act as the Relevant Person with responsibility for the club Child Safeguarding Statement.
Each club must complete and display their Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment for Athletics Clubs for mandatory compliance with the Children First Act 2015. AAI provide the CCO/DLP with supporting documentation and instructions.
Role of a Designated Liason Person
This role sits with the Club Chairperson unless another committee member has been appointed. The DLP is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse and welfare issues to Tusla or the Gardai (Statutory Authorities). They will work with the Club Children’s Officer to act as a resource for children at committee level
- DLP reports any suspected cases of child neglect or abuse to a Duty Social Worker in the Tusla Child and Family Agency or An Garda Síochána.
- They should also inform the National Children’s Officer / Mandated Person that a report has been submitted to the Statutory Authorities.
- Act as a resource for volunteers/coaches/parents who have a child protection or welfare concern.
- The DLP should be knowledgeable about child protection and undertake any training considered necessary i.e. Sport Ireland Safeguarding 1 and 3 courses.
- The DLP should have knowledge of the Safeguarding Guidance and relevant child protection legislation (Children First Act 2015, National Vetting Bureau Act 2012-2016) and be familiar with local support services.
- In consultation with the person who raised the concern and the Club Children’s Officer, the DLP will decide if reasonable grounds for a concern exist.
The Athletics Ireland Child Safeguarding Team are available to liase with Club Children’s Officers and Designated Liason Person to help and support them. We are committed to ensuring the implementation of safeguarding requirements and can offer guidance where required on all our policies & procedures.
Athletics Ireland Child Safeguarding Contacts
If you have any concerns regarding the welfare or safety of a child in your club or community please contact the Statutory Authorities (TUSLA, Child & Family Agency www.tusla.ie or your local Gardai 1800 666 111) to report your concerns.