Safeguarding & Protecting Young People

The following policy has been agreed by the pbE Board and members advised at the Nov 22 AGM.  

  1. Introduction

1.1       pbE is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment for all young people to enjoy Pickleball. We accept our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all young people and protect them from poor practice, abuse and bullying.

1.2       pbE Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Pickleball Policyand procedures apply to all individuals involved, whether paid or in a voluntary capacity. Everyone in Pickleball has a responsibility to safeguard and protect young people within the sport, to act appropriately, and to report concerns.

  1. Principles

2.1       The guidance given in this policy is based on the following principles:

2.1.1    All young people, regardless of age, ability or disability, sex, race, religion,ethnic background social status, transgender status and sexual orientation have the right to be protected from abuse and to enjoy all aspects of Pickleball in an enjoyable and safe environment, this includes whilst playing, volunteering and in leadership or coaching roles.

2.1.2    The safety and welfare of young people is paramount

2.1.3    The rights, dignity and worth of all young people should always be respected

2.1.4    All allegations will be taken seriously and responded to quickly in line with pbE’s Safeguarding and Protecting Young People Policy and procedures

2.1.5     It is everyone’s responsibility to act appropriately and report concerns at the earliest opportunity. Young people are those aged under 18 years.

2.1.6    pbE recognises the role and responsibilities of the statutory agencies in safeguarding young people and fully complies with the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards.

2.1.7 Working in partnership with parents, carers and young people themselves is essential for the safeguarding and protection of young people

2.2       pbE Safeguarding and Protecting Young People Policy and procedures are mandatory for:

1) Affiliated junior clubs

2) Affiliated clubs with junior members

3) Affiliated clubs competing in leagues

Such affiliated clubs are required to appoint a Welfare Officer to ensure that best practice is promoted and that implementation of this policy, procedures and guidance is supported at each level of the sport. Further information on roles and responsibilities is given at section 4.

  1. Guidance and Legislation

3.1       The practices and procedures within this policy and documentation are based on the principles contained within UK and international legislation and Government guidance and have been developed to complement Local Safeguarding Children Boards’ procedures and take the following into consideration:

  • Every Child Matters 2003
  • The Children Acts 1989 and 2004
  • The Protection of Children Act 1999
  • The Police Act 1997
  • Criminal Justices and Court Services Act 2000
  • The Data Protection Act 1994 and 1998
  • “Caring for the Young and Vulnerable” – Home Office guidance for preventing the

Abuse of Trust 1999

  • ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ – Department Of Health 2006
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children – HM Government 2018
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • The Equality Act 2010
  • The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  1. Roles and Responsibilities

4.1       pbE is committed to having:

4.1.1    A national Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Pickleball Policy and procedures and to produce and disseminate guidance and resources to support the policy and procedures.

4.1.2    A clear commitment by senior management to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare.

4.1.3    Procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff and volunteers

4.1.4    All staff, including temporary staff and volunteers who work with children, are made aware of pbE’s arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and their individual responsibilities

4.1.5    A culture of listening to and engaging in dialogue with young people – seeking their views in ways appropriate to their age and understanding, and taking account of those both in individual decisions and the establishment or development of services; and

4.1.6    Appropriate whistle blowing procedures and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed.

4.2       All pbE affiliated junior clubs, affiliated clubs with junior members and affiliated clubs competing in leagues are required to:

4.2.1    Adopt and implement the pbE Safeguarding and Protecting Young People Policy and procedures and guidelines

4.2.2    Ensure that all committee members, coaches and club members are aware of their responsibility for safeguarding and protecting young people in Pickleball

4.2.3    Ensure that all staff/ volunteers working with young people complete an enhanced DBS disclosure application with pbE.    

4.2.4.   pbE can do Enhanced DBS Checks for coaches.  Simply go to:- https://carecheck.co.uk/

Where you need to put a company name, place PICKLEBALL ENGLAND and then when you have done your submission, pbE will receive a notification that an application needs to be reviewed.  We will then arrange a zoom call to verify your ID, take details down, etc for processing.  Within a couple of days you will be notified the outcome.     The cost is £46 paid directly to Care Check. 

  1. Practice never to be sanctioned.

5.1       Best practice with young people must be observed by all adults working with young people in both a paid and voluntary capacity, the following practice must be avoided:

5.1.1    Spending time alone with young people away from others

5.1.2    Inviting or allowing a young person to stay at their home

5.1.3    Transporting a young person in a car alone

5.1.4    Engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games with young people

5.1.5    Sharing a room with a young person

5.1.6    Allowing or engaging in any form of inappropriate physical touching or sexual contact or behaviour

5.1.7    Using or allowing young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged

5.1.8    Making sexually suggestive comments to a young person

5.1.9    Allowing allegations made by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon

5.1.10 Doing things of a personal nature for a young person that they can do for themselves, unless they have been requested to do so by the parents/carer. This does not preclude anyone attending to an injured/ill young person or rendering first aid

5.1.11 Departing from the Pickleball club or agreed meeting point before the safe dispersal of all young people is complete

5.1.12 Humiliating or undermining an individual or acting in a way that negatively affects their self esteem

5.1.13  Treating some young people more favourably than others

5.1.14 Creating a dependent relationship between themselves and a young person, appropriate boundaries must be maintained, see Section 8. Positions of Trust

5.1.15 Private texts, social network messages and emails without parental consent or knowledge

5.2       This list is not exhaustive, see section 9 regarding relevant convictions

  1. Consequences of Inappropriate Behaviour with young people

6.1       Adults who do not observe best practice with young people, breach the pbE Safeguarding and Protecting Young People Policy and / or the pbE’s Codes of Conduct will be investigated by pbE. Where appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against them. 

  1. Whistle blowing

7.1       All suspicions and allegations must be taken seriously and appropriately reported. It is recognised that strong emotions can be aroused particularly in cases where any form of abuse or poor practice is suspected or where there is loyalty, sometimes misplaced, to a colleague or someone who is known to you.

7.2       Individuals may not express concerns because they fear harassment or victimisation. In these circumstances it is important to understand these feelings but not to allow them to interfere with the need to ensure that concerns are reported appropriately. Not acting is not an option and in certain circumstances non reporting of a concern may be considered a disciplinary issue.

7.3       pbE is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability. In line with that commitment, all members are encouraged to come forward and voice any concerns. It is recognised that certain cases will have to proceed on a confidential basis.

7.4       pbE will support any individual who reports any concerns relating to the welfare of a child(ren), poor practice or possible abuse in good faith but who feels unable to communicate those concerns to their welfare officer (County or Club) or follow normal procedures for any reason.

7.5       If there is a concern about the welfare of a child, or the behaviour of an adult towards a young person or young person to young person, concerns must be shared with the pbE’s safeguarding team by emailing safeguarding@pickleballengland.org.  

7.6       All information received will be treated in confidence and only shared on a ‘need to know’ basis with those individuals who will be able to manage and resolve the situation. It may be necessary to seek advice from and / or inform the statutory agencies e.g. the police or Children’s Social Care.

7.7       All concerns will be taken seriously and managed according to the Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in pbE Policy and pbE Disciplinary Procedures.

7.8       Where an individual feels unable to report concerns internally with pbE, they should contact the NSPCC Helpline [0808 800 5000], the Police or Children’s Social Care.

  1. Positions of Trust

8.1       All adults who work with children and young people are in a position of trust which has been invested in them by the parents, the sport and the young person. This relationship can be described as one in which the adult is in a position of power and influence by virtue of their position.

8.2       Sexual activity or touching by an adult with a child under the age of 16 years is unlawful, even where there is apparent consent from the child. Any sexual relationship between an adult in a position of trust within the Pickleball setting and a young person over 16 [consensual or otherwise] is contrary to the Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Pickleball Policy and will result in disciplinary action being taken.

8.3       In the sport of Pickleball it is recognised that there are certain boundaries between the coach / official / volunteer and the young player which must not be crossed. The relationship is no different to that between a teacher and a child, it is a position of trust.

8.4       Adults must not encourage a physical or emotionally dependant relationship to develop between the person in a position of trust and the young person in their care.

  1. Relevant conduct / convictions

9.1       It shall be a ground for action to be taken under this Policy and the pbE disciplinary procedures where an organisation / person over whom pbE has jurisdiction is found to have harmed the safety and/or welfare of a young person or young people in Pickleball, or whose conduct (whether in Pickleball or not) is deemed to pose an actual or potential risk of harm to the safety and/or welfare of a young person or young people in Pickleball.

  1. Additional Policies

It is our intention to develop policies on Anti-racism and on Safeguarding for Vulnerable Adults.