Access Sport supports community clubs and volunteers to feel confident in delivering sessions to their clubs and participants.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many organisations and clubs are turning to online methods in order to communicate and engage with their participants. With this, comes some important considerations to make regarding safeguarding. Therefore, Access Sport has brought together all the key information that will need to be considered when utilising online communication methods.

Please read this article for an overview of the importance of safeguarding during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://thecpsu.org.uk/news/2020-04-the-importance-of-safeguarding-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

 

REVIEWING SAFEGUARDING POLICIES

Your club/organisation does still have some key responsibilities regarding safeguarding during the Coronavirus emergency. It is likely that referral and support processes and contacts may have changed in response to the emergency. We recommend that you get in touch with local statutory agencies and partners to check if anything has changed.

You also need to ensure that you review your current safeguarding policy to ensure that it has a section on online safety section that highlights how you plan to keep children and young people safe online.

Here are some examples of templates that you can use:

 

 

 

RESPONDING TO A SAFEGUARDING CONCERN

When responding to a safeguarding concern you should continue to follow your standard reporting procedure. While the circumstances of how the abuse occurred may differ, the way that it is dealt with should remain the same.

Please see the below resources on responding to a safe-guarding concern for further guidance:

 

 

 

TRAINING

With the ever-changing scope of the online world there is increased and new risks to consider. We understand that this may bring some uncertainty around how to best protect the children, young people and vulnerable adults that you work with.

To help educate yourselves on this we would recommend at least one person in your organisation/club doing the Online Safety Course by NSPCC (cost: £35)

Here are some alternative suggestions:

 

 

 

VIRTUAL SESSIONS AND ACTIVITY

During the lockdown it is important for us to encourage others to stay as active as possible and therefore you may be looking to coordinate some home sessions with your coaches and club participants. Check out our Access Sport advice page on Home Sessions here. 

NSPCC & O2 have created a database called Net Aware of all Social networks, apps and games which include risk factors for a number of online concerns. You can use this to determine which platform would be best to deliver any online sessions or training on.

For general advice on best practices during remote coaching please see the below useful links:

 

Please see further guidance on more specific topics below:

 

CHANGES TO DBS

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have made some temporary changes to their guidelines and processes to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

These include amendments to the ID checking guidelines for urgent standard and enhanced checks - and basic checks when submitted through a Responsible Organisation. DBS have also published a safeguarding factsheet for community volunteers to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time. 

For all of the DBS and coronavirus related resources please visit the DBS Covid-19 guidance page which brings together their factsheets, updated guidelines and frequently asked questions. 

 

MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

The pandemic and social distancing measures are placing several additional pressures on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. They may be experiencing increased feelings of anxiety, low mood or loneliness and some will need additional support at this time.

If your club or activity is keeping in touch with members virtually you can start a conversation about this by signposting young people to specialist information. Such as, Childline's online coronavirus advice or Young Minds' coronavirus and mental health pages. 

 

HELPLINES REMAIN AVAILABLE

Concerns about online abuse or inappropriate behaviour should be reported to the person responsible for safeguarding issues within your organisation.

You can also call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000report your concern online or email [email protected].