CSPs provide a hub for safeguarding

Last updated: 19 May 2017 Topics: Working with our partners Safeguarding children Type: News article
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An insight into some of the safeguarding work of County Sports Partnerships.

Regardless of how much the responsibilities of CSPs include activity delivery for young people, one of their crucial roles is to act as a ‘hub’ in promoting safeguarding, and providing information, guidance and signposting to partners across their areas.

Here, we find out from two CSPs about some of their recent work.

Working in partnership in Cumbria

Safeguarding young people in football

Following the November 2016 revelations about historical sexual abuse in football, Active Cumbria contacted local football clubs and statutory agencies to offer support and promote the work already happening in the county to ensure young people are better safeguarded in sport.

This included offering Cumberland FA assistance with promoting safeguarding information to help reach clubs and individuals across the county, particularly those outside the FA’s regular communications network. At a crucial time for football and sport more generally, this led to enhanced information sharing between Cumbria’s sports organisations, young people and their parents.

Active Cumbria also contacted Cumbria LSCB to help make local statutory agencies aware of the support they can provide in connecting with partners and informing them of the safeguarding in sport information, guidance and training that’s on offer across the country. In particular:

Keeping the county informed

As well as working towards extending their connections with local statutory agencies and clubs, Active Cumbria also produces a school sport and PE e-newsletter, which reaches over 300 people in the county. Most recently, the newsletter promoted the minimum standards for recruitment of coaches in schools, sharing the CSPU’s Check and Challenge Tool.

They’re now working in partnership with the Early Help Team within Cumbria County Council to deliver information sessions, as part of Active Cumbria’s multi-sport Time to Listen course. The aim is to inform Club Welfare Officers (CWOs) about Early Help and the types of safeguarding concerns CWOs can refer, whereby a child could benefit from intervention and support from the Early Help Team before situations reach a critical stage.

Tyne and Wear's team approach

Assessing their safeguarding training

To assess the team’s training needs, Tyne and Wear Sport (TWS) asked all of its staff members to complete the CSP Network's Training Needs Analysis (TNA) tool, part of which covers safeguarding learning. This demonstrated that several team members had self-identified as needing input on areas of safeguarding such as:

  • having knowledge of safeguarding legislation
  • understanding how to manage incidents
  • being confident about referring safeguarding concerns to appropriate personnel

Taking action

In response, the CSP lead and deputy safeguarding officers delivered internal training that focused on the key legislation and TWS's safeguarding policy, aiming to improve the confidence and knowledge of the team. 

In addition, TWS purchased UK Coaching’s online Safeguarding and Protection Children in Sport refresher module. The safeguarding leads set up two sessions to take the rest of the team through the module. This approach proved very useful for facilitating challenge and discussion, as it:

  • enabled the team to ask questions
  • helped staff to learn from one another
  • responded to the learning needs that had been identified

Following the training, feedback from the team highlighted that they felt much more confident about safeguarding and would now assess themselves as more competent than they had originally.