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Reporting a concern or incident

It’s very important that sports clubs and organisations report any suspicions, concerns or incidents involving the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults.

Be prompt – because remember your report could stop a child or vulnerable adult from being harmed.

Make a written record

To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern.

Write down the facts and be clear about what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you.  Do not include your own opinions.

There is an incident reporting template form available here. 

Report it

ALL suspicions and allegations must be reported appropriately. 

If you have any concerns, you should immediately discuss it with a club welfare officer or the person in charge of your organisation.

If they are not available or they may themselves be an alleged abuser, take responsibility immediately and seek guidance from the NSPCC 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000, your local social services department or the police.  Telephone numbers can be found in your local directory.

The club should also inform the relevant national governing body of sport. 

Allegations of abuse are sometimes made long after the event. If this happens, you should follow the same procedures and report the matter to social services. Other children may still be at risk from the alleged abuser.

Strong emotions can exist particularly in cases where sexual abuse is suspected or where there is loyalty to a colleague. However, these feelings must not interfere with action that needs to be taken and procedures that need to be followed.

It is not the club’s responsibility to decide whether or not abuse has taken place.  But it is a club’s responsibility to share suspicions and allegations with the authorities.

Be confidential

Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained.  Handle information on a need to know basis. This includes the following people:

  • The Club Welfare Officer
  • The parents of the child
  • The person making the allegation
  • Social Services/police
  • The (Your Organisation/Club) Regional Development Manager and your Sport Governing Body Club welfare officer
  • The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child)

Seek social services guidance on who should approach the alleged abuser.

All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws.

Your local social services team, the NSPCC or the police can answer any other questions.

Here is a sample Incident Report Template