Safeguarding vulnerable adults in sport


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John Burns and Rizwana Ishaq from Gateley discuss safeguarding vulnerable adults in sport – from the Sport and the Law Conference 2014.

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Safeguarding vulnerable adults in sport

  1. 1. Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults in Sport John Burns, Partner Rizwana Ishaq, Senior Associate
  2. 2. What we will cover Part One: background and legislation Part Two: facilitating working with vulnerable adults Part Three: case studies
  3. 3. What is a Vulnerable Adult? • No Secrets Guidance [2000]:- • A person who is aged 18 years or over; • who is or 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 him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation. • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 offers an alternative definition. • Vulnerable adults vs. vulnerable children
  4. 4. Are these adults vulnerable adults? Richard Whitehead Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
  5. 5. Vulnerable Adults in Sport • Vulnerable adults playing sports e.g. playing football • Vulnerable adults officiating/coaching/working within a sports organisation e.g. working in a football club • Vulnerable adults who are spectators e.g. attending a football club to watch a football match • Safeguarding Adults Steering Group offers specific examples.
  6. 6. Abuse of Vulnerable Adults • What is abuse? • "Abuse is a violation of an individual's human and civil rights by any other person or persons.” No Secrets Guidance [2000] • Forms of abuse: - Physical - Sexual - Psychological - Financial/material - Neglect/acts of omissions - Discriminatory • Who is the abuser? • Who are the agencies involved in safeguarding vulnerable adults?
  7. 7. Key Legislation and Policies • Human Rights Act 1998 • Data Protection Act 1998 • Care Standards Act 2000 • No Secrets: „Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse‟ [2000] • Sexual Offences Act 2003 • Mental Capacity Act 2005 • Safeguarding Adults Framework: „A National Framework of Standards for good practice and outcomes in adult protection work‟ [2005] • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 • Equality Act 2010 • White Paper: „Caring for our future: reforming care and support‟ [2012] • The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  8. 8. Part Two: facilitating working with vulnerable adults in sport Aims  Positive engagement  Reducing risk  Dealing with situations of harm or abuse appropriately Overview of Part Two • Practical measures sports organisations can implement to integrate vulnerable adults into sport. • Write a policy for safeguarding vulnerable adults. • Create a reporting and referrals process.
  9. 9. Practical Measures • Identification of the vulnerable adult • Communicate with the vulnerable adult from the outset • Support and assistance • Assessment of equipment and facilities • Transportation • Training of staff and membership • Policies • Prevention • Access to advice • Awareness/culture of inclusion • Procedures and safeguards
  10. 10. DBS Disclosures and Vetting • Replaces the old CRB checks. • Standard, Enhanced and Enhanced with list checks. • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 defines “Regulated Activity”: • The individual is in contact with the person by:  providing healthcare e.g. health care professional;  providing personal care e.g. physical assistance, dressing etc;  providing social work;  assisting with general household matters;  assisting with the conduct of the person's own affairs; and  conveying any form of transport. • Rarely a legal requirement for a sports organisation.
  11. 11. Scenario 1 • Vulnerable adult plays in an inclusive sports team (i.e. team containing no vulnerable adults) Practical considerations Legal considerations Best practice
  12. 12. Scenario 2 • Setting up a sports team which is solely for vulnerable adults Practical considerations Legal considerations Best practice
  13. 13. Producing a policy for safeguarding vulnerable adults 1. Positive Approach 2. Policy Statement 3. Definition of vulnerable adult 4. Definition of different types of abuse and signs and indicators of abuse 5. Outline roles and responsibilities of staff 6. Ensure reporting and referral procedure outlined step- by-step and include complaints procedure 7. Provide useful contacts for support and further advice 8. Definition of capacity
  14. 14. Creating a Reporting and Referral Process • Clear step-by-step guide of responding, recording, reporting and referring. • It is not the responsibility of those in the sports organisation to interview or investigate, if they have a concern this is always a role for the statutory agencies such as police and social care. • Importance of self determination/capacity.
  15. 15. Working Example – Everton FC
  16. 16. Working Example – United Kingdom Athletics • Updated policy in 2013 • Policy Statement: “UKA…fully accept their legal and moral obligations to provide a duty of care, to protect all adults at risk of abuse and safeguard their welfare, irrespective of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, gender identity, religion or belief and sexual orientation.” • Definitions – Vulnerable Adult, Abuse, Risk Factors • Step-by-step procedure for alerting, reporting and referring. • Contacts for further support and guidance.
  17. 17. Case Study 1 Janet owns a swimming club. There are currently no swimmers in the club who are vulnerable adults. Kate wants to join the adult‟s team. Kate is currently living with her parents and has a carer due to her mild learning disability. Janet is happy for Kate to join the team as she is looking for new members and Kate is a very talented swimmer. Jane, Janet‟s friend, also wants to assist with the coaching of the team at the club and Janet is going to take her on as an employee.
  18. 18. Case Study 1 - Questions • What practical considerations should Janet take into account when Kate joins the team? • What legal obligations is Janet under if she employs Jane?
  19. 19. Case Study 2 Town FC, a Premier League football club, are re-writing their club policies. Town FC currently have a safeguarding children policy with a page added on at the end for vulnerable adults. Their last policy was updated 10 years ago and is currently being used by the club. Although many of those working at the club are not aware that this policy exists. Steve, who works at Town FC, also runs a team for adults with disabilities (including vulnerable adults) which is part of the club. One day he notices that Jim, one of the players, is being shouted at rather abruptly by his carer and Jim appears intimidated.
  20. 20. Case Study 2 - Questions 1. What is Town FC doing wrong? 2. What advice would you give to Town FC regarding the drafting of their new policy? 3. What should Steve do regarding Jim‟s carer?