Reporting Suspected or Disclosed Child Abuse
The following steps should be taken in reporting child abuse to the statutory authorities.
- Observe and note dates, times, locations, and contexts in which the incident occurred or suspicion was aroused, together with any other relevant information.
- Report the matter as soon as possible to the designated liaison person with responsibility for reporting abuse. If the DLP has reasonable grounds for believing that the child has been abused or is at risk of abuse, s/he will make a report to the statutory authorities;
- Statutory authorities have the legal responsibility to investigate and assess suspected or actual child abuse. The national DLP should be informed as soon as possible that there is a safeguarding issue to enable them to take responsibility for dealing with the matter or to support the club DLP and monitor the situation;
- In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious risk a child must not be left in a dangerous situation report immediately to the relevant authorities.
- If the DLP is unsure whether reasonable grounds for concern exist s/he can informally consult with the local statutory agencies. S/he will be advised whether or not the matter requires a formal report.
- Clubs should ensure they have out of hours contact numbers for their local social services team.
Remember - It is not the responsibility of anyone working in a paid or voluntary capacity, or those working in affiliated organisations, to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse is taking place.
However - There is a responsibility to protect children in order that appropriate agencies can then make enquiries and take any necessary action.