Wellingborough Amateur Swimming Club
GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES
All Club personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
Good practice means: -
- Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).
- Treating young people equally, and with respect and dignity.
- Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
- Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with swimmers (e.g. it is not appropriate for volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child).
- Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process.
- Making swimming fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
- Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is in the water. Young people should always be consulted and their agreement gained.
- Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance in swimming.
- Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents, coaches, or volunteers work in pairs.
- Ensure that if mixed teams are taken away, they should always be accompanied by a male and female volunteer. However, remember that same sex abuse can also occur.
- Being an excellent role model and displaying high standards of behaviour and appearance.
- Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
- Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people - avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
- Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.
- Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
- Requesting written parental consent if volunteers are required to transport young people in their cars.
- In training, competitions and galas, look out for people who don't appear to be relatives or friends of children who are swimming.
PRACTICES TO BE AVOIDED
The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of the club official i.e. Chairman, Secretary, etc. or the child's parents.
- Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
- Avoid taking or dropping off a child to an event.
PRACTICES NEVER TO BE SANCTIONED
The following should never be sanctioned. You should never: -
- Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate language unchallenged.
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
- Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
- Allow allegations made by a child go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
- Do things of a personal nature for children, that they can do themselves.
- Invite or allow a child to stay with you at your home unsupervised.
NB It may sometimes be necessary for Club personnel to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parents and the swimmers involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person's reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.
INCIDENTS THAT MUST BE REPORTED/RECORDED
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the Club Welfare Officer, the Chairman, or a member of the Club Committee and make a written record (no form required). You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed: -
- If you accidentally hurt a swimmer.
- If he/she seems distressed in any manner.
- If a swimmer appears sexually aroused by your actions.
- If a swimmer misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.