Everyone who participates in Karate is entitled to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment. The Welsh Karate Governing Body Ltd (WKGB), have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for children and adults at risk, coaches and volunteers provide them with the highest possible standard of care.
The WKGB is committed to devising and implementing policies so that everyone in sport accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children and adults at risk from harm and abuse. This means following procedures to protect children and reporting any concerns about their welfare to the appropriate authorities.
The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people and adults at risk with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of the WKGB and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection and adult at risk issues. A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (Children’s Act 1989).
An adult at risk is defined by the DOH as a person aged 18 or over who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of himself or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation (for further information refer to the Care Act 2014).
1.2 Policy Statement
The Welsh Karate Governing Body Ltd (WKGB) acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice.
The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and adults at risk are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, all children
The WKGB acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.
As part of our safeguarding policy the WKGB will
The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in the WKGB. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.
The policy will be reviewed a year after development and then every three years, or in the following circumstances:
Child Protection Policies should be reviewed every 3 years or whenever there is a major change in the organisation or in relevant legislation.
1.3 Legal and Procedural Framework for children
The following are the key pieces of legislation and government guidance that are most relevant to the policy and procedures:
Children Act 1989
Aims to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It gives duties and responsibilities to local authorities, courts, parents, and other agencies to protect children from harm and to meet their developmental needs. It is based on the idea that children are best cared for within their own families, but also allows for intervention when necessary.
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to.
Data Protection Act 2018
This Act updates the data protection laws in the UK implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which governs your personal data rights and the way companies handle your data.
Sexual Offences Act 2003
Defines and regulates sexual offences, including the protection of children from harm from other sexual acts and those in positions of trust.
Children Act 2004
A development from the 1989 Act, reinforcing that all people and organisations working with children have a responsibility to help safeguard children and promote the safety and welfare of children across the UK.
Working Together to Safeguard Children Act 2018
Statutory guidance outlining how all those working with children should be working together, including multi-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011
Underlining Wales’ commitment to children’s rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The measure places a duty on Ministers to have due regard to the UNCRC when developing or reviewing legislation and policy.
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Covers various topics related to freedom of information, biometric data, surveillance, vehicles, criminal records, and human trafficking as well as the establishment of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
Provides the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support, and carers who need support, and for transforming social services in Wales.
Wales Safeguarding Procedures and Practice Guides 2019
Detailing the essential roles and responsibilities for practitioners to ensure that they safeguard children and adults who are at risk of abuse and neglect.
Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020
Helps protect children’s rights by prohibiting the physical punishment of children. This means physically punishing children is no longer acceptable in Wales for parents, carers and anyone acting in loco parentis in any setting in Wales.
Positions of Trust
In 2022, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in England and Wales and the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 were amended to expand position of trust roles to include sports coaches.
It is against the law for someone in a position of trust to engage in sexual activity with a child in their care, even if that child is over the age of consent (16 or over)
To provide children and adults at risk with the best possible experience and opportunities in Karate, everyone must operate within an accepted ethical framework such as “The Coaches Code of Conduct” and an Equity Policy. (See Appendix 1 and Appendix 4.)
It is not always easy to distinguish poor practice from abuse. It is therefore NOT the responsibility of everyone including participants and volunteers in Karate to make judgements about whether or not abuse is taking place. It is, however, their responsibility to identify poor practice and possible abuse and act if they have concerns about the welfare of the child, and adult at risk as explained in section 4.
This section will help you identify what is meant by good practice and poor practice.
2.2 Good Practice
All personnel should adhere to the following principles and action:
2.3 Poor Practice
The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel:
Where a case arises, where it is impractical or impossible to avoid certain situations e.g., transporting a child /adult at risk in your car, the tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parent/carer and the child /adult at risk involved. (See Appendix 5 and Appendix 6.)
If during your care you accidentally hurt a child / adult at risk they seem distressed in any manner, appear to be sexually aroused by your actions and/or if the child / adult at risk misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incidents as soon as possible to another colleague and make a written note of it. Parents should also be informed if an incident with a child occurs.
2.4 Physical Contact in Sport
Many sports, by their nature, require a degree of physical contact between adults and children. Physical contact can be used appropriately to instruct, encourage, protect or comfort. The aims of guidelines relating to physical contact are to provide adults and children with appropriate types and contexts for touching.
Physical contact between adults and children should only be used when the aim is to:
Physical contact should not
Abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm, it commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or a breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a child / adult at risk regardless of their age, gender, race or ability.
There are five main types of abuse relating to children: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and financial. There are additional categories for adults including financial and institutional all of which may result in significant harm to the individual.
The abuser may be a family member, someone the child encounters in residential care or in the community, including sports and leisure activities. Any individual may abuse or neglect a child / adult at risk directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming the child / adult at risk.
Abuse in all of its forms can affect a child / adult at risk at any age. The effects can be so damaging that if not treated, may follow the individual into adulthood.
Children/adults at risk with disabilities may be at increased risk of abuse through various factors such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, isolation and a powerlessness to protect themselves or adequately communicate that abuse had occurred.
3.2 Types of Abuse
Physical Abuse: Where adults physically hurt or injure a child / adult at risk e.g., hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, biting, scalding, suffocating or drowning. Giving children alcohol or inappropriate drugs could also constitute abuse.
This category of abuse can also include when a Parent/Carer reports non-existent symptoms or illness that deliberately causes ill health in a child / adult at risk they are looking after.
In a sports situation, physical abuse may occur, when the nature and intensity of training, disregards the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body.
Emotional Abuse: The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child / adult at risk likely to cause severe and lasting adverse effects on the child/adult at risk emotional development. It may involve telling a child / adult at risk they are useless, worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued in terms of only meeting the needs of another person. It may feature expectations of children/adult at risk that are not appropriate to their age or development.
It may cause a child / adult at risk to be frightened or in danger by being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted which may make the young person frightened or withdrawn. Ill-treatment of children/adult at risk whatever form it takes, will always feature a degree of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse in sport may occur when the child / adult at risk is constantly criticised, given negative feedback, expected to perform at levels that are above their capability. Other forms of emotional abuse could take the form of name-calling and bullying.
Bullying may come from another young person or an adult. Bullying is defined as deliberate hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. There are three main types of bullying.
It may be physical (e.g., hitting, kicking, slapping), verbal (e.g., racist or homophobic remarks, name-calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text messages Facebook and /or equivalent social media platforms), emotional (e.g., tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating form the group), or sexual (e.g., unwanted physical contact or abusive comments).
In sport bullying may arise when a parent or coach pushes the child / adult at risk too hard to succeed, or a rival athlete or official uses bullying behaviour. (See Appendix 7.)
Neglect occurs when an adult fails to meet the child/adults at risk basic physical and/or psychological needs, to an extent that is likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. For example, failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect from physical harm or danger, or failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Refusal to give love, affection and attention can also be a form of neglect.
Neglect in sport could occur when a coach does not keep the child /adult at risk safe, or exposing them to undue cold/heat or unnecessary risk of injury.
Sexual Abuse occurs when adults (male and female) use children/adults at risk to meet their own sexual needs. This could include full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse and fondling. Showing children/Adults at risk pornography or talking to them in a sexually explicit manner are also forms of sexual abuse.
In sport, activities which might involve physical contact with children/Adults at risk could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. Also, the power of the Coach over young athletes, if misused, may lead to abusive situations developing.
Financial abuse could be someone stealing money or other valuables from you. Or it might be that someone appointed to look after your money on your behalf is using it inappropriately or coercing you to spend it in a way, you're not happy with such as:
Some of the behaviours and signs that might suggest financial abuse could be happening:
3.3 Indicators of Abuse
Even for those experienced in working with child /adult at risk abuse, it is not always easy to recognise a situation where abuse may occur or has already taken place. Most people are not experts in such recognition, but indications that a child / adult at risk is being abused may include one or more of the following:
Signs of bullying include:
It must be recognised that the above list is not exhaustive, but also that the presence of one or more of the indications is not proof that abuse is taking place. It is NOT the responsibility of those working in the Welsh Karate Governing Body to decide that child abuse is occurring. It IS their responsibility to act on any concerns.
3.4 Use of Photographic/Filming Equipment at Sporting Events
There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of children/adults at risk. All clubs should be vigilant and any concerns should be reported to the Club Child Protection Officer.
All parents and performers should be made aware when coaches use video equipment as a coaching aid. (See Appendix 8.)
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in the Welsh Karate Governing Body in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities so that they can then make inquiries and take necessary action to protect the child/adult at risk. This applies BOTH to allegations/suspicions of abuse occurring within the Welsh Karate Governing Body and to allegations/suspicions that abuse is taking place elsewhere. (See Appendix 9, Appendix 10, and Appendix 11.)
This section explains how to respond to allegations/suspicions.
4.2 Responding to concerns/allegations
We may become aware of possible abuse in various ways. We may see it happening, we may suspect it happening because of signs such as those listed in section 3 of this document, and it may be reported to us by someone else or directly by the young person affected.
In the last of these cases, it is particularly important to respond appropriately. If a young person says or indicates that they are being abused, you should:
In all cases if you are not sure what to do you can gain help from NSPCC helpline Tel No: 0808 800 5000, 8 am – 10 pm Mon - Fri and 9am – 5pm at weekends or via email 24/7.
4.3 Recording Information
To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern. In the recording, you should confine yourself to the facts and distinguish what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you. Do not include your own opinions. (See Appendix 10 and Appendix 11.)
Information should include the following:
4.4 Reporting the Concern - Child protection
All suspicions and allegations MUST be reported to the Club or Association Designated Child Protection Officer. It is recognised that strong emotions can be aroused particularly in cases where sexual abuse is suspected or where there is misplaced loyalty to a colleague. It is important to understand these feelings but not allow them to interfere with your judgement about any action to take.
The Welsh Karate Governing Body expects its members and staff to discuss any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child immediately with the person in charge i.e., head coach, welfare officer) and subsequently to check that appropriate action has been taken.
If the designated Club Child Protection Officer is not available you should contact the Association Child Protection Officer alternatively you could seek advice from the NSPCC.
Helpline, the duty officer at your local social services department or the police. Telephone numbers can be found in your local directory.
A summary of reporting procedures is provided in Appendix 10. Where there is a complaint against an employee or volunteer, there may be three types of investigation.
As mentioned previously in this document the Welsh Karate Governing Body are not child protection experts. It is not their responsibility to determine whether or not abuse has taken place. All suspicions and allegations must be shared with professional agencies that are responsible for child / adult at-risk protection.
Social services have a legal responsibility under The Children Act 1989 to investigate all child protection referrals by talking to the child and family (where appropriate), gathering information from other people who know the child and making inquiries jointly with the police.
NB: If there is any doubt, you must report the incident: It may be just one of a series of other incidences which together cause concern.
Any suspicion that a child / adult at risk has been abused by an employee or a volunteer should be reported to the Welsh Karate Governing Body which will take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the child / adult at risk in question and any other child / adult at risk who may be at risk. This will include the following:
Allegations of abuse are sometimes made sometime after the event. Where such an allegation is made, you should follow the same procedures and have the matter reported to social services. This is because other children in the sport or outside it may be at risk from the alleged abuser.
Anyone who has a previous conviction for offences related to abuse against children is automatically excluded from working with children. DBS Checks will be required and be checked to ensure compliance.
What do I do if I am concerned about an Adult at Risk?
If the person is in immediate danger, you should first ensure that they are safe, and contact the emergency services, if necessary, report suspected abuse by contacting Social Services. Note permission from the person in question must be obtained prior to official reporting and taking action unless permission is obtained from their advocate. If in doubt contact social services who will guide you through the correct procedures.
If you think that a criminal act has or may have taken place you can contact the police.
All reports to be sent to
Lead Safeguarding Officer
Email firstname.lastname@example.org .
It is important that the organisation has well-known procedures for enabling staff and volunteers to share, in confidence with a designated person, concerns they may have, about a colleague’s behaviour.
This may be behaviour linked to child abuse or behaviour that pushes boundaries beyond acceptable limits. If this is consistently ignored a culture may develop within an organisation whereby staff and young people are ‘silenced’.
The Welsh Karate Governing Body is fully supportive of ‘whistle blowing’ for the sake of the child, and will provide support and protect those who ‘whistle blow’. While it is difficult to express concerns about colleagues, it is important that these concerns are communicated to the designated Club Welfare Officer All staff and volunteers will be encouraged to talk to the designated if they become aware of anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. (See Appendix 14.)
4.6 Concerns outside the immediate home or in the community (e.g., a parent or carer)
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated by the following people:
Seek Social Services and Police advice on who should approach the alleged abuser.
All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws.
4.8 Internal Inquiries and Suspension
The Welsh Karate Governing Body Lead Safeguarding Officer will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.
Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the Welsh Karate Governing Body Disciplinary Committee will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled.
This may be a difficult decision; especially where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such a case, the Welsh Karate Governing Body Disciplinary Committee must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on the balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child / adult at risk should remain of paramount importance throughout.
4.9 Working with the Aftermath
After a suspicion or allegation about a child protection/adult at risk concern has been investigated, there are likely to be strong feelings amongst staff, parents and children and possibly among the wider community, which will need to be addressed.
There are likely to be issues of:
Careful thought will need to be given to the sharing of information and the provision of appropriate support.
It is important that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unsuitable people from working with children/adults at risk. This applies equally to paid staff and volunteers, both full and part time. To ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children/adults at risk the following steps should be taken when recruiting
5.2 Controlling Access to Children
5.3 Interview and Induction
All employees and volunteers will be required to undertake an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and volunteers should receive formal or informal induction during which:
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process requires coaches to:
The Welsh Karate Governing Body requires:
All coaches, trainee coaches and leaders should have
WKGB registered office
63 Ashcroft Crescent, Fairwater, Cardiff CF5 3RL
Childline UK (24 hr service)
Tel - 0800 1111
DBS customer service
Telephone: 0870 90 90 811
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Sensitive applications team
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
National Helpline 0808 800 5000
Ann Craft Trust
Child Protection in Sport Unit
WKGB Lead Safeguarding Officer
Police and Social Services
101 non-emergency, 999 emergency – for police
Consult your telephone directory for the most relevant local numbers
|Isle of Anglesey
Council Offices Llangefni LL77 7TW
Neath Port Talbot
Vale of Glamorgan
Rhondda Cynon Taf
A carer is someone who has the responsibility for providing or arranging care for someone else who, because of long-term illness or disability or age, is not able to care for him or herself.
A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The term ‘children’ therefore means ‘children and young people’ throughout.
The particular activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect.
The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) defines a person as having a disability 'if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'.
Regional Safeguarding Boards (RSB)
These are the six multi-agency strategic boards of relevant partner agencies set up across Wales designed to protect children and adults at risk of, abuse or neglect and to prevent those children and adults from becoming at risk of abuse or neglect.
In loco parentis
In loco parentis (from Latin meaning ‘in place of a parent’) refers to a person who has been given explicit permission to assume parental responsibility for a child by his or her parents or legal guardian.
For the purposes of identifying roles or individuals qualifying for Disclosure and Barring Service Check, regulated activity is defined as: involving contact with children or adults at risk and is of a specified nature (e.g. teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, medical treatment or in certain circumstances transport) on a frequent, intensive and/or overnight basis; or involving contact with children or adults at risk in a specified place (e.g. schools, care homes etc.), frequently or intensively.
Need to know
In the context of sharing confidential information, disclosing details only to those people who have to be informed in the interests of a child or children. The factors that need to be considered when determining whether to disclose information include: the reason for sharing the information; the level of detail that needs to be disclosed; with whom the information will be shared; and whether disclosing the information is a proportionate response to the need to protect a child from harm.
The parent refers to the person who holds parental responsibility or the person given the responsibility for the day-to-day care of the child on behalf of the parent or an official body.
Safeguarding refers to a range of proactive measures taken to keep children safe and promote their well-being, including child protection.
Throughout the procedures, the generic term social services are used to represent the relevant local authority social services functions with regard to children.