SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
The National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of all Bowling Codes recognise and acknowledge their joint and several responsibilities to establish policies which promote and encourage their affiliated associations and clubs to adopt the highest possible standards of care towards children and other vulnerable people participating in the Game of Bowls.
NGBs believe that everyone has a duty of care towards the children and other vulnerable people with whom they have contact, and to safeguard and protect them from abuse. This is both a moral and legal obligation. Everybody, whether administrator, official, coach, or bowler, involved in working with children, young people and the vulnerable has a responsibility to be informed about, and be able to recognise the different forms of abuse. They also need to know what precautions or steps should be taken for its prevention and what action to take if an incident occurs.
Association of Bowling Codes Safeguarding Panel and National Governing Bodies (NGBs)
In common with governing bodies in other sports, steps were taken towards producing a comprehensive Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy for the sport of Bowls in England through the establishment of a joint working group (the Association of Bowling Codes Safeguarding Panel) comprising representatives of the British Crown Green Bowling Association, the English Bowling Federation and the English Women’s Bowling Federation and the English Short Mat Bowling Association are also represented on the panel.
Representatives from other interested bodies [The English Bowls Coaches Society (EBCS)] also participate.
The panel, working in liaison with the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) Child Protection in Sports Unit (CPSU), has the task of helping to implement the policy and to monitor progress.
In doing so it offers help and advice to affiliated Clubs and Associations, who are introducing procedures for child protection in their own locality; it will also seek feedback on their experiences.
The panel will also act with the governing bodies as an advice and control point for Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly Criminal Records Bureau) referrals.
The Aims of the Panel can be found below and its modus operandi and how it operates (Constitiution) can be found here.
An acceptance that abuse does take place within sport is a pre-requisite for safeguarding children and young people. If the sport of bowls is to establish a culture and ethos where the rights of children are respected and promoted, it is essential that everyone involved recognise their responsibility for safeguarding and protecting children and the vulnerable.
Everyone in the sport of bowls needs to be aware of their individual and collective responsibilities for:
- Challenging poor practice,
- Preventing abusive behaviour,
- Developing a vigilant and whistle blowing culture,
- Promoting safeguarding interventions.
This requires that everyone is informed about the nature and extent of abuse in sport. Bowls must promote a zero tolerance approach to harm or abusive behaviour and ensure that everyone involved in the sport can, with confidence, report concerns with any of these matters.
Principles, Aims and Objectives
The aim of this document is to set out the joint policy on child protection for Bowls, and provide guidelines to assist those people who regularly work with children in associations and clubs, to understand and fulfil their obligations. Although emphasis is given on child welfare, the contents of this document are equally valid as general guidance for those involved with the disabled and other vulnerable adults. Press here for definitions of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
The following principles form the basis of the policy and guidelines contained in this document:
- The welfare of children and vulnerable adults is paramount.
- Each individual irrespective of age, gender, religion, race or disability has the right to protection from abuse.
- Allegations and suspicions of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- Each individual has the right to be safe, and to be treated with respect and dignity.
- Coaches, and other adults, having had an allegation made against them may seek assistance from their appropriate governing body.
- Recognition that working in partnership with individuals, their parents or guardians, carers, families, social services, and other agencies necessary for their welfare and protection.
The Panels responsibilities include
- The production of a safeguarding policy and documentation for the protection of children and vulnerable adults which is common to the family of bowls.
- To update and revise procedures, guidance and advice as and when necessary
- To incorporate recommendation on good practice and legislation published by the Home Office, NSPCC, Sport England, Sportscoach UK, and other concerned bodies.
Advice to Clubs and Associations
The responsibility of making bowls safe and free from harm for children and vulnerable people is one which must be shared at all levels of our sport. This website is designed to help you understand the part which your club or association is expected to play, and the necessary steps to take in doing so.
All of the policies and procedures mentioned refer equally to those who, as a result of physical or mental handicap and irrespective of their age, are deemed to be vulnerable. See Simple Guide for Clubs and Action Plan for how to go forward from here.