Technology is moving very fast in this area. There are many different ways for people to communicate. On-line communication can be by mail, instant messaging or social media/networking sites.
The risks posed by such methods of communication arise from a variety of issues: the privacy provided, the wide range of content that can be transmitted, the ease with which images can be forwarded onto others and the difficulty in knowing truly who you are communicating with.
In sport, there are additional risks: inappropriate pressure can be exerted by adults, particularly coaches, on children or inappropriate criticism of a child’s performance.
Uckfield RFC supports the Safeguarding RFU guidelines, (more details of which can be found at www.rfu.com)
- When communicating by phone, where possible Club Officials and coaches should speak to the parent/guardian of a child.
- Club Officials and coaches should not communicate with individual children by text or on-line.
- Information regarding training/match details etc, should be by group email. It is unadvisable for a coach to communicate directly with a child.
- Coaches and Club Officials should not be “friends” with the children they coach.As per the Safeguarding Policy written by the RFU, it is impossible to address every issue or cover every scenario a club or coach might encounter when communicating with children and it is appreciated that different ages will need to be treated differently.As such Uckfield RFC have added a few pointers to ensure the safekeeping of children at the club.
Facebook – URFC
Uckfield RFC understand that facebook is becoming one of the most efficient ways to communicate with parents/guardians of the children, and has instigated the following points that must be adhered to in the interests of the children playing at URFC.
- Should any facebook “Group” be set up for any age group, it is to be a “Closed” site.
- Only 2 adults (Manager, Coach – both of whom should have done a safeguarding course) should have admin status to this Group.
- Only direct parents/guardians & children (if of age to be on facebook), should be added.
- The Safeguarding Officer and the Chairman of URFC must be added to each URFCGroup
- If the Group is a mini or junior side (even if it is just parents arranging meet times for games) either the Junior or the Mini Chairperson must be added to the Group.
- Any issues of bullying of any form on any of these URFC represented sites are to be addressed to the Safeguarding Officer.
- Telephone numbers, addresses, emails or any other form of personal information should not be disclosed on these sites.The Senior and Social side of URFC have a Facebook site – this is a Closed site, however it not only has supporters and senior players, it has parents and many “youth” members of URFC as its members.Due to this, URFC request that the Admin users of this site must make contact with the Memberships Officers to ensure that any requests to be added onto this site are legitimate parents/guardians, club supporters, players and are known to URFC.URFC understand that it is a great joy to see how all areas of the club are doing, but also realised that it has a responsibility to ensure that this is done in a safe and monitored way.
Website – URFC
URFC understands that they are legally responsible for content of the Club website.
- All information regarding children is to be kept locked.
- No photographs of children are to appear with full names. Parental permission of any published photographs is to be obtained.
- Any match reports entered onto the website are to be checked and authorised before uploading.
- No content on the website is to be perceived at bullying or of any form of criticism.
- Webmaster is responsible for ensuring no linked sites (such as adverts from the likes of Google etc) are inappropriate.