There are so many aspects to running a cricket club and welfare has to be considered in all of these from the logistics of facilities and transport to ensuring that players are not put at risk on the field. Here are a few key things to remember.
• Report any information or concerns to your Club Welfare Officer
• Ensure that you have obtained as much information about your concerns or an incident as possible
• Complete an Incident Reporting Form (195 KB) and submit it to the County Welfare Officer
• Ensure that any umpire reports or statements accompany this information
• Contact the Police/Ambulance/Children’s Social Care/LADO immediately if any child is in danger or has been hurt at the club and then report the matter to the County Welfare Officer
• In the case of small concerns recording is also necessary as these concerns may form part of a bigger picture at a later date.
Confidentiality is key with any information you are given regarding a child’s situation. The ECB whistle blowing policy states that ‘All concerns will be treated in confidence. During the process of investigating the matter, every effort will be made to keep the identity of those raising the concern unknown, except to the minimum number of individuals practicable’
Dealing with concerns over juniors using social networking sites
The potential for anonymity on social networking sites can result in a child’s details falling into the wrong hands.
Safety on social networking sites:
• Juniors should not make their phone numbers, addresses, school details or any other personal information public on social networking sites – if they wish to show these details then they should choose ‘friends only’ under the visibility preferences.
• Juniors should not make friends on social networking sites wth people they do not know as pseudo profiles are common and can be predatory.
• Juniors should not make friends on socail networking sites with other children they know but do not get on with as this can create an avenue for arguments/bullying to take place without the knowledge of a teacher/parent/guardian or other adult.
• Remember that people who are grooming children are patient and can take years building the trust of a child and their family.
• NEVER arrange to meet a contact from a social networking site unless you are absolutely sure they are who they say they are (e.g. a school friend)
What to do if a child has been approached/abused/bullied via social networking sites
• In the case of cyber bullying make sure that the person does not retaliate or respond to the message. Ask the person responsible for the message to remove the content, block the contact if possible and/or contact the networking host to make a report and have the content removed.
• If a child is approached by an unknown person on a networking site with a friend request press ignore
• If a child is approached by an unknown person on a networking site with an apparently innocent message ignore but do not delete.
• If a child is approached by an unknown person on a networking site with repeated or inappropriate messages then call the police. Do not delete or respond to the message(s)
• If a child is approached by an unknown person via text message phone call or email repeated or inappropriate messages then call the police. Do not delete or respond to the message(s)
Social networking opens up more threats to all users including:
Bullying by peers and people they consider ‘friends’
• Posting personal information that can identify and locate a child offline
• Sexual grooming, luring, exploitation and abuse contact with strangers
• Exposure to inappropriate and/or illegal content
• Involvement in making or distributing illegal or inappropriate content
• Theft of personal information
• Leaving and running away from home as a result of contacts made onlin
In order to safeguard all children within cricket and to avoid any misinterpretation of online activity by coaches/managers Essex cricket does not advocate social network contact between coaches/managers and children under 18.
The use of social media websites for derogatory or disrespectful remarks about any cricket related activity, player, coach/manager or official by players, parents or coaches/managers will not be tolerated. Any complaints will be investigated and may result in subsequent disciplinary action, including possible suspension from playing activities. Essex Cricket staff expects offending comments to be removed on request and the appropriate apologies to be made.
The ‘following’ of adults in cricket by children and ‘following’ children by adults on Twitter is strongly not recommended.
If a coach/manager believes this is the best way to share information regarding the team – match times/venues etc they can set up a facebook page in the name of the team which the children can then become members. Any photographs of the coaches will be representative of them and their phone numbers will be included in the page (as they are in the fixture book).
All staff/volunteers at Essex Cricket and users of Essex Cricket services are expected to:
• Take responsibility for their own use of communication and interactive technologies, making sure they use new technologies safely, responsibly and legally within the context of cricket
• No communication device or service, including interactive communication services such as social networking may be used to bring the club, its members or cricket into disrepute
• No communication device or service, including interactive services such as social networking may be used for inappropriate behaviour online within the context of cricket including the bullying or harassment of others in any form, defamation, obscene or abusive language, the uploading of material which is libellous, defamatory, obscene, illegal, shows nudity or is violent
• Report any known misuses of communication and interactive technologies within the context of cricket, including unacceptable behaviour, inappropriate contact with children online and illegal content including sexual abuse/indecent images of children, according to the relevant club and ECB safeguarding policies and procedures
• Be aware that any report of the misuse of communication and interactive technologies within the context of cricket will be investigated according to the club’s policy and procedures and may result in the club’s sanctions being enforced. Depending upon the seriousness of the incident legal action may be taken and where suspected criminal activity has taken place a report will be made to the police
In addition to the above club officers and appointed volunteers will:
• Take responsibility for their professional reputation in the online environment, making sure they follow e-safety advice, adhere to privacy and safety settings and report any concerns in accordance with club and ECB policies and procedures
• Not ask for email addresses, mobile phone numbers or social networking profiles of junior members (less than 18 years of age) or search for junior members on social networking services/search engines without the prior consent of parents and in line with the club’s policy on the use of information including emergency situations
• Not develop an online relationship with a young player with the intention of meeting them offline to engage in sexual activity. Sexual exploitation, including grooming a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of meeting to engage in sexual activity, is a serious criminal offence
• Not view, possess, make or distribute sexual abuse/indecent images of children. This is a serious criminal offence
If you have any concern about the use of social networking sites please report as follows:
• Any concern: County Welfare Officer, Lorrie Austin: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Illegal sexual child abuse images should be reported to the Internet Watch Foundation (http://www.iwf.org.uk) and to the police.
• Reports about suspicious behaviour towards children and young people in an online environment should be made to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (www.ceop.gov.uk). Law enforcement agencies and the service provider may need to take urgent steps to locate the child and/or remove the content from the internet.
• Where potentially illegal material including sexual abuse or indecent images of children or activity is found or suspected on technology provided by, or where the club has access to, the evidence should be made secure and preserved. The police or the IWF can provide further advice on this when a report is made. In the case of reports about suspected illegal material including sexual abuse or indecent images of children held on personally owned devices by members the report should include where the suspected illegal material can be found e.g. a website address where possible.
• Potentially illegal material, including sexual abuse or indecent images, should not be circulated or distributed within the club. Those involved in making a report should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Recruitment and selection guidelines
We understand that for a lot of clubs the selection policy goes a bit like this:
Person A ‘Who can do…x…?’
Person B ‘Okay I will do it’
Person A and members ‘Wonderful, that’s sorted then’
Unfortunately places such as cricket clubs are an easy target for people who are looking for contact with children for all the wrong reasons. If this happens in your club then you will want to be able to say that you did everything you could to avoid this.
There are a few things you can do to help stop this, you may do them already:
Make sure that all people working closely with people under 18 years old are CRB checked. This includes Junior Cricket Managers, Coaches, Captains, Umpires and Welfare Officers. 16-18 year olds working as assistant coaches should also be CRB checked
Some clubs have sent all the people working closely with children on a Safeguarding and Protecting Children Workshop. You could look into running a club workshop –
Sportscoach UK have information on how to do this.
Any paid position would require a reference and a job description; why should a voluntary role be any different? It may be that you have known the members in your club for years, in which case you will automatically have a reference of them yourself. For example there must be someone in your club that you would never allow to be a secretary or treasurer – why is this?
If you have a new recruit and nobody knows anything about them you need to ask for written references. There is a paragraph on this in the Safehands policy, and a sample referee form in the kit bag. Try to get as much information as possible for your club records such as address and experience; this could be in the form of a friendly chat – perhaps over a drink. If a new recruit says they have an ECB CRB from a previous club give your County Welfare Officer a call and she can find out if this is true. (You will need to know what county they have come from.)
Handing out job descriptions is not a silly as it may seem. Obviously if you have a committee member that has been in place for years and there is no problem with their work, maybe they don’t need one but for new recruits they need a job description in order to understand what is expected of them. This goes right across the club from President to tea lady. It doesn’t have to be a huge document, just a few bullet points on their roles and responsibilities. The Club Welfare Officer Job description is as follows:
• Ensure that registration records are kept for all junior club members and report forms are completed for any accident, incident or allegation made.
• Ensure that all members of the club are aware of your role and how to contact you.
• The Club Welfare Officer should have a place on the Club Committee.
• Understand where sporting organisations fit within the legal framework for child safeguarding.
• Have a basic knowledge of roles and responsibilities of the statutory agencies (Police, Social Services and NSPCC) and Local Safeguarding Children Board.
• Report any child welfare concern to the County Welfare Officer.
• Be clear about ECB reporting procedures.
• Have a basic knowledge of behaviour that is harmful to children and young people – from bullying to poor practice and abuse.
• Know how abusers “target” and “groom” organisations in order to abuse children and best practice in prevention.
• Assist the club committee to Implement ECB policy and procedures related to safeguarding children and young people.
• The CWO is not an investigative role.
Anti Discriminatory Practise
Implementing anti-discriminatory practise does not need to be a lengthy process; you probably do most of the following things already without even realising it.
Make your club welcoming and open to all, challenge stereotypes, promote respect and make it clear that discrimination of any type is not tolerated. These attitudes tend to feed down from the top of the club; if the committee, coaches and captains lead by example then the rest of the members are likely to follow, particularly the young people on the club.
An equal opportunities policy can be promoted by displaying it in your club house. You could put your club’s name to and display the following paragraph:
It is the aim of this club that every child is given equal opportunity to develop and learn. No child is treated differently due to racial origin, gender, age, religion, disability or any form of social or physical disadvantage. Under this policy every child at this club shall be treated fairly and equally.
This policy is based on the Kidscape Anti-bullying policy 2005
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all children should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff and officials.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying can be:
• Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding kit, threatening gestures)
• Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
• Racist: racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
• Sexual: unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
• Homophobic: because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
• Verbal: name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
• Cyber: All areas of internet, such as email and internet chat room misuse, mobile phone threats by text messaging and calls. Misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video facilities
Objectives of this Policy
• All officials, coaching and non-coaching staff, children and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
• All officials, coaching and non-coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
• All children and parents should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
• As a club we take bullying seriously. Children and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
• Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
• A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
• says they are being bullied
• changes their usual routine
• is unwilling to go to the club
• becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
• comes home with clothes torn or belongings damaged
• has possessions which are damaged or “go missing”
• asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
• has unexplained cuts or bruises
• is frightened to say what’s wrong
• gives improbable excuses for any of the above
In more extreme cases, the child may:
• start stammering
• cry themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
• become aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
• bully other children or siblings
• stop eating
• attempt or threatens suicide or runs away
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
1. Report bullying incidents to the County Welfare Officer
2. In the case of cyber bullying make sure the person does not retaliate or respond to the message, ask the person responsible to remove the content if possible, block the contact if possible, contact the networking host to make a report to have the content removed.
3. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be reported to the ECB
4. Child Protection Team for advice
5. Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
6. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
7. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
8. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
In cases of adults reported to be bullying cricketers under 18, the ECB will always be informed and will advise on action to be taken.
We will use KIDSCAPE methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
• writing a set of club rules
• signing a behaviour contract
• having discussions about bullying and why it matters
• arranging a supervised face to face discussion between the children involved