Supervision of Children and Adults at Risk

Supervision of Children and Adults at Risk

Prevention is the most important aspect of supervision of children and young people.


From the moment the child / adult at risk arrives at the event, staff and volunteers are acting in Loco Parentis and have a duty of care towards them.


Appropriate supervision ratios and systems for monitoring the whereabouts of children/adults at risk are essential. It must always be clear, who in the team is responsible for supervision. This is particularly important when events are held on large sites and at residential venues.

For events involving children under the age of 8, the supervision ratios are set out in Recommended adult-to-child ratios for working with children | NSPCC Learning.

Should a child go missing the following CPSU Guidance should be used.


Missing children and young people at sports events

Example procedure

Notes: The terms 'child' and 'young person' describe any person under the age of 18.


If a child goes missing during an event, the club or organisation will apply the following procedure:

  • Ensure that all other children continue to be supervised appropriately while a search for the child concerned is carried out.
  • Organise the remaining available responsible adults to conduct a search of the surrounding area allocating each individual to a specific area. Request all those searching reports back within a short time, dependent on the size of the area being searched.
  • If the child cannot be found after a good search of the immediate surroundings, contact the child's parents to advise them of the concern and reassure them that everything is being done to locate the child.
  • Make a note of the circumstances in which the child has gone missing and where they were last seen and prepare a detailed physical description of the child, including their hair and eye colour, approximate height and build and clothing they were wearing, as this will be required by the police. If photographs of the child have been taken at the event, these could also be useful to the police.
  • Report the concern to the police if the search is unsuccessful and no later than 20 minutes after the initial missing person report if the search is ongoing.
  • Follow police guidance if further action is recommended and maintain close contact with the police.
  • Report the incident to the designated safeguarding officer of the club or organisation.
  • Ensure that you inform all adults involved including the parents, searchers and police if at any stage the child is located.

In an emergency

In an emergency, where a young person is at immediate risk of harm, call 999.

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