Child Welfare

Child Welfare

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4.4.1 Safeguarding Policy

Irish Rugby Football Union implemented a safeguarding policy for age graded players 2015 which all members, coaches, and volunteers should read and familiarize themselves with.  This policy is updated every 2 years. Coaches, administrators, and anyone directly involved with age grade players must annually read and agree to abide by the terms through signing sign the “Declaration of Intent” This document is stored by the Club Welfare Officer team.

While these documents are for the protection of age grade players, Parents/Guardians remain responsible at all times for their children’s welfare. 

All Parents/Guardians, Coaches, members families should familiarize themselves with the Safeguarding policy – in particular the Code of Conduct Policy, which is available on the IRFU web site ( )

The Department of Health and Children prepared and issued National Guidelines ‘Children First 1999’.  The Guideline states that the protection and well being of a child is of the uppermost importance.  The Department of Health Guidelines for voluntary groups and organisations require that each such voluntary group and/or organisation designate a member of the group as the designated Child Welfare Officer, which DLSP complies with.

The CWO acts as a liaison person with the Garda Siochana and/or the health authorities and /or the Health Service Executive and as a resource to any member, parent/guardian, and/or family member who have a concern in this regard. 

The primary concern at all times must be the welfare and protection of the child. In the interest of natural justice DLSP will respect the right of every person to his/her good name.  Information received regarding an alleged or suspected child abuse should only be received by the designated Child Welfare Officer and should not be discussed with any other member.   It is not the role of DLSP to investigate an allegation of child abuse.  All case must be reported to Garda Siochana or the HSE. 

4.4.2 General Safety

Group’s leaders should undertake a Hazard and Safety Audit for their area of responsibility including trips away from the club.  The essential steps are:. 

1.Gum shields are mandatory No Gum shield No Play. 

2.Check the position of emergency exits and ensure that they are not obstructed. 

3.Note the position of Fire points /extinguishers.  Familiarise yourself with the fire drill for the venue. 

4.Report any defects in appliances/facilities/equipment to the owner/Manager. 

5.A First Aid kit should be available stocked with the appropriate stock per 15 persons. 

6.Never give medication or drugs of any kind without professional/suitably qualified support. 

In an emergency you can assist the casualty with their medication. 

a.An incident book is available to record any incidences that occur. It is available behind the bar. 

b.If the incident involves equipment it should, where possible, be removed from service and kept for safe inspection. 

c.All serious incidents must be reported to the Youth Chairman. 

7.All coaches /volunteers must be Garda Vetted. 

8.No mini players are allowed into the changing rooms. Bathroom facilities are available upstairs in the club house for players under 12yrs old. 

9.In order to protect coaches and Mini/Youth players, coaches are requested not to travel alone in the car with children to and from matches. 

10.It is DLSP policy to seek permission from parents for officials of the club to take photographs or publicity purposes.  Ideally photographs used should show groups and not identify any individual players.  Parents are permitted to take photographs of their own children and it is recognised that when doing so they will inevitably include other players.  Any concerns in this regard should be brought to the attention of the CWO as soon as possible. 

11.Incidences of Bullying will not be tolerated and should be handled through the Disciplinary Procedures detailed in section 5. 

12.Name calling will not be tolerated. 

13.No one is to be victimised. 

14.Each member is supported and listened to. 

15.Solutions to problems are the concern of all. 

16.Always respect coaches, club officials and the referee.  

4.4.3 Coach and Volunteer Code of Ethics

The following is summarises DLSP’s code of ethics for coaches:

Remember that as a coach of an "age grade team" you are to act in "loco parentis" and to that extent your duty of care is more onerous than that of a coach to an adult team.

Lead by example - young people need a coach whom they respect.
Be generous with your praise when it is deserved.  Never ridicule or shout at players for making mistakes or losing a match.
Teach your players that the Laws of the Game are mutual agreements which no one should evade or break.
Prepare young players for inter-class and inter-club activities.
Be reasonable in your demands on the players' time, energy and enthusiasm.
Ensure that all players participate in matches. The "average" players require and deserve equal time.
Remember that young players play for fun and enjoyment and that skill learning and playing for fun have priority over highly structured competition. Winning & losing is part of the game.
Develop player and team respect for the ability of opponents, as well as for the judgement of referees and opposing coaches.
Insist on fair play and disciplined play.  Do not tolerate foul play, fighting or foul language.  Be prepared to take off an offending player.
Encourage young players to develop basic skills and sportsmanship.  Avoid over specialisation in positional play during their formative years.
Set realistic goals for the team and individual players and do not push young players into adult-like competitions.
Create a safe and enjoyable environment in which to train and play.
Do not over burden younger players with too much information.
Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed on sound coaching principles and methods, and on the principles of growth and development of young people.
Be aware of the effect you have on growing children.
Never criticise the referee and touch judges during or after a match in front of players or spectators.
Always thank the match officials and if they have made decisions which require clarification, discuss the problems after everyone has changed.
Seek and follow the advice of a doctor in determining when an injured player is ready to play again.
Ensure that proper equipment and facilities are available at all times.
Be responsible and ensure you uphold the ethos of the game and the IRFU.
Attend coaching courses.
Support the Code of Ethics and all policies regarding Children in Sport.
Ensure you and your players are proud of your team, club and efforts during the season.

4.4.4 Awareness of Child Welfare Officer

There is a large notice at the entrance to the club highlighting the fact that there is a Club Welfare Officer team  in De La Salle Palmerston FC.  It also contains photographs and contact phone numbers and e mails of the team.


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