Good practice guidelines in the event that a young person discloses abuse to you. You can view Good Practice guidance on what to look out for in terms of safeguarding young people here.
Remember it can be difficult for a young person to speak about abuse. They may fear negative consequences or they may feel ashamed.
- Reassure the young person that they’ve done the right thing in telling you
- Ensure that your conversation takes place in a private place where you cannot be overheard
- Listen carefully to what they are saying. Show you care. Give them your full attention. Use open body language
- Demonstrate that you understand what they are telling you. Reflect back
- Respect pauses. Let the young person go at their own pace.
- Do not ask leading questions. Ask only what is necessary to ensure a clear understanding of what has been said
- Stay calm and try not to show shock or disbelief
- Tell the young person that you are treating the information seriously. It was not their fault
- Explain that you need to share what they have told you with someone who will be able to help. You must adhere to the Club’s Confidentiality Procedures and only disclose information on a need-to-know basis (for example Club Welfare Officer, Local Authority Safeguarding Team, Police)
- Tell the young person you will take steps to support them
- Record and report the disclosure in line with the Safeguarding Procedures. Ensure records are clear, precise and factual. Try to use the young person’s own words
- Be aware of the possibility that medical evidence might be needed
- Maintain an unbiased approach and follow Safeguarding Procedures to ensure the case is treated in a fair and transparent manner and the young person gets the support and protection required
- Do not pressurize the young person for more details. Interviewing young people in cases of abuse is a specialist role to be carried out by trained Social Workers or Police Officers
- Do not stop someone who is freely recalling significant events (Don’t say ‘hold on, we’ll come back to that later’; they may not tell you or anybody else again)
- Do not promise to keep secrets; you cannot keep this kind of information to yourself
- Do not make promises that you cannot keep (for example, “I will make sure that you will never see that person again”)
- Do not contact the alleged abuser about the disclosure. It could make things worse for the young person
- Do not be judgemental
- Do not pass on the information other than to those with a legitimate ‘need-to-know’ under this Policy and Procedure
In your record of the disclosure:
You should aim to:
- Note what the young person actually said, using their own words and phrases
- Describe the circumstances in which the disclosure came about
- Note the setting and anyone else who was there at the time of the abuse or the disclosure
- Separate factual information from your own and others’ opinions
- Use pen or biro with black ink so that the report can be photocopied if needed
- Ensure the record is signed and dated by the adult receiving the disclosure
- Store any records securely, separate from general records, and accessible only to designated persons.
- Be aware that your report may be required later as part of a legal action or disciplinary procedure.
See below for details of the persons to be informed where a disclosure is made.
The Designated Welfare Officer will get back to you within a day or two of your report to confirm that the appropriate action has been taken. If not, check with them to make sure that they have taken the appropriate steps.
In the event that the Designated Welfare Officer is the alleged abuser, report directly to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer for safeguarding), a member of the Club’s Board of Directors and the FA Safeguarding Officer. If you have suspicions that a young person may have been subject to abuse (but there has been no direct disclosure) refer to the Contact List below and seek appropriate advice.
If you are worried a child is being abused:
Contact the Club’s Designated Welfare Officer, Gareth Castick immediately on firstname.lastname@example.org . They will follow the appropriate procedures. The Club’s Board of Trustees should also be informed.
If the designated person is unavailable, contact:
Mark Gay – the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Bury Children’s Safeguarding Unit
18-20 St Mary’s Place
Bury BL9 0DZ
Tel: 0161 253 5342
Mob: 07583 877250 (0830 – 1800 Mon – Fri)
e mail: LADO@bury.gov.uk
Mark advises on and deals with allegations against staff or volunteers at the Club.
In those instances you must also contact the FA Safeguarding Team on 0800 169 1863. (The Safeguarding Officer for Manchester FA is Lauren McCorry – 0161 225 1966)
Bury Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on:
0161 253 5678 (inside office hours 9am to 5pm) or
The Emergency Duty Team on:
0161 253 6606 (out of office hours) or
Greater Manchester Police on:
101 or 0161 872 5050
If the child is in immediate danger, ring GM Police on 999
Other useful contacts:
NSPCC Helpline: 0800 800 5000
Childline: 0800 1111