Child Protection in Sports Unit (CPSU)



Tom Tennick is our lead safeguarding Officer  for children and vulnerable adults 

and can be connected by

mob 07956372474

email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Safeguarding children is everyone’s business and Tigra Karate Association (TKI) acknowledge that it is the duty of all those involved in Karate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, and we are committed to ensuring that our safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, Government guidance and complies with best practice as advised by the NSPCC Child Protection In Sport Unit (CPSU). This includes sharing of information with relevant agencies and the organisations required for the protection of children, and reporting concerns to the club safeguarding officer and/or designated safeguarding lead for TKI. Follow these procedures and together we can help to protect vulnerable children and young people and identify any poor practice that may be putting our participants or coaches at risk.


This policy comes into immediate effect. All Karate instructors/coaches, including the extended Karate family and those working voluntarily or under contract to TKI or affiliated clubs, must be aware of and are required to comply with the TKI safeguarding procedures and policy.

This policy applies in particular to:-

All Karate Instructors/Coaches

All Volunteers who support/ work with TKI or affiliated Karate Clubs

NB: This list is not exhaustive.


This policy and its accompanying procedures provide a framework and guidance in respect of the duty of care to protect and safeguard children. The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for all involved in the Karate Dojo and clubs affiliated to TKI. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

Policy Statement

TKI acknowledge that, as part of our safeguarding policy, our principles are:-

The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.

All children and young people have the right to be protected from abuse, regardless of their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief or sexual identity.

To promote and prioritise the safety and well-being of children and young people.

To ensure that everyone understands their role and responsibility in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people.

To ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and that support is provided to the individual(s) who raise or disclose the concern.

To ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored by the safeguarding designated officer for TKI.

To prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals by ensuring that all staff working with children in the Sport of Karate are DBS cleared.

TKI will take seriously all suspicions and allegations of abuse and respond swiftly and appropriately.

Anyone under the age of 18 years is considered as a child for the purposes of this document.

Regional areas, clubs and other organisations will be provided with the appropriate documentation and support to ensure that they are able to implement the Policy

It is a criterion of membership that all clubs, regions and affiliated bodies require staff, coaches, officials, administrators, parents and participants adopt and abide by Protection policies and Procedures.

Adults at Risk Policy

The principles above apply equally to vulnerable adults participating in Karate and TKI is committed to taking all reasonable steps to protect vulnerable adults from harm and discrimination within a Karate environment.

A vulnerable adult is considered to be anyone over the age of 18 years who is or may be unable to take care of themselves or protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

TKI recognise that each vulnerable adult is a unique individual with varying degrees of need and ability. The appropriateness of involving carers in welfare-related decisions will depend upon the individual needs and circumstances and, most importantly, with their wishes. In case of doubt, contact must be made with the TKI lead Safeguarding Lead.

Equity Policy

The concept of ‘Sport for All’ is nothing new, and those agencies providing sport throughout the UK have acknowledged and supported this philosophy for many years.However, despite initiatives such as Sport England’s ‘Sport for All’ campaign and the general agreement that sport is for all, inequalities still exist.

Equity in sport has now become an increasingly important issue for all those involved in the provision of sport, not least for the National Governing Bodies that could find themselves ineligible for funding from various sources unless the inequalities are addressed.

TKI has a desire and a duty to provide services fairly and without discrimination. TKI is fully committed to the principles of equality of opportunity and will devote energy and resources to the achievement of this aim.

It is the responsibility of TKI to ensure that all clubs and affiliated Karate Organisations comply with this policy and procedures and ensures that no participant, volunteer, job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, gender, disability, ethnic origin, race, colour, parental or marital status, pregnancy, social or class background, nationality, religious belief, sexual preference or political belief.


This policy and accompanying procedures will be reviewed a year after publication and then every three years, or in the following circumstances:

Changes in legislation and/or Government guidance

As required by Sport England

As a result of any other significant change or event.

TKI recognises its responsibilities, both morally and legally, under current legislation, including the Children Act 1989 and 2004, and will use its best efforts to promote good practice to protect children and young people.

We recognise that we have a responsibility to:

Safeguard and promote the interest and well-being of children and young people with whom we are working

Take all reasonable practical steps to protect them from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment, and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings

Confidentiality should be maintained in line with the Human Rights Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1988

In accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and the Child Protection in Sport Action Plan (2000), we recognise that TKI and its clubs and affiliated organisations have the following statutory duties, roles and responsibilities: - Protect children from maltreatment - Prevent impairment of children health or development - Ensure that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care - Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

We will achieve this by: -

Having effective recruitment and selection procedures, including DBS checks –

Have a culture of listening to the voices of children and young people –

Reporting concerns in line with the TKI procedures –

Having an ethos that the welfare of the child is paramount

Our safeguarding and child protection procedures are intended to:

Offer safeguards to the children and young people with whom we work, and to our members of staff, volunteers and those in affiliated organisations

Help to maintain professionalism and high standards of practice

We recognise that any procedure is only as effective as the ability and skill of those who operate it. We are therefore committed to:

Operating safe recruitment procedures

Providing support, appropriate training and adequate supervision to all our staff, coaches and officials so that they can work together with parents/carers and other organisations to ensure that the needs and the welfare of children remain paramount

Ensuring that all coaches complete Level 1 safeguarding and child protection training as part of their coaching qualification and refresher safeguarding training completed every three years

TKI will:-

Appoint a designated Safeguarding Child Protection Officer

Ensure that all cases of poor practice that may be abusive and any allegations of abuse are investigated and, where appropriate, referred to other agencies

Make decisions on misconduct/poor practice within agreed timescales

Convene a disciplinary panel when necessary

Inform all appropriate individuals and bodies of their decisions within agreed timescales

Keep a list of all suspended, disciplined and disqualified persons and, where appropriate, refer people disqualified to relevant Government agencies for consideration by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy and procedures


As stated above, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes to this guidance as:

Protecting children from maltreatment

Preventing impairment of children’s health or development

Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes (Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2018 HM Government)

TKI can have the best policies and rigorously check the suitability of coaches and volunteers. It can have numerous codes of conduct and guidelines in place to ensure maximum safety for the organisation, participants, coaches and volunteers.

Training will help you to recognise some of the signs, to recognise concerns that a child or young person is being abused. It is also possible that a child/young person will talk to you about what they are experiencing, the abuse they are suffering or suffered from. It is important that you respond in the right way. Safeguarding concerns can arise in other ways: for instance, an adult responsible for a child may notice a change in their behaviour or appearance that causes them concern; or a parent may raise a concern about the behaviours of a Karate coach or volunteer.

Often a child may speak directly to an adult they trust about a concern or what they are experiencing and not their parents, primarily because they don’t want to worry their parents or maybe the parent is the person of concern. There is no research that tells us how many times a child experiences abuse before they tell, and no research is available to state how many attempts a child makes to disclose and be heard. Very young children often believe that adults know everything that is going on and expect you to already know.

If a child says or indicates that he or she is being abused, or you notice concerning behaviour or sudden change of attitude or behaviour in class, or information is obtained which gives you concerns that a child is being abused, then there is an approach that needs to be taken in terms of response to that information and concern. The person receiving the information should Choose Right: (see page …. courtesy of NSPCC)

Child abuse? First and foremost, it is important to remember that a child is any person under the age of 18. Child abuse happens when a person, adult or child, harms a child in a way that can either be physical, sexual or emotional, but can also involve a lack of love, care and attention. Neglect can be just as damaging to a child as physical or sexual abuse.

Children may be abused by:

Family members



People working or volunteering in organisation or community settings (e.g. a coach of sport)

People they know –Or –

Much less commonly, by strangers.

Children suffering abuse often experience more than one type of abuse, and it tends to happen over a period of time rather than as a one-off isolated incident. These days abuse increasingly can happen online.

Children and young people with disabilities Children and young people with disabilities are additionally vulnerable to abuse because they may:

Lack a wide network of friends who support and protect them

Have significant communication difficulties which may include very limited verbal communication, or they may use sign language or other forms of non -verbal communication

Be subject to the prejudices and/or misconceptions of others

Require personal intimate care

Have a reduced capacity to resist either verbally or physically

Not be believed

Depend on the abuser for their involvement in sport

Lack access to peers to discover what is acceptable behaviour

Have medical needs that are used to explain abuse

Children and young people from minority ethnic groups

Children and young people from minority ethnic groups are additionally vulnerable because they may be:

Experiencing racism and racist attitudes

Experiencing racism through being ignored by people in authority

Afraid of further abuse if they challenge others

Wanting to fit in and not make a fuss.

Any concerns should be discussed with your Safeguarding lead.

The following is a summarised version taken from the NSPCC knowledge and information service –

General Signs of Abuse

Children who suffer abuse may be afraid to tell anybody about the abuse. They may struggle with feelings of guilt, shame or confusion, particularly if the abuser is a parent, caregiver or other close family member or friend. Many of the signs that a child is being abused are the same, regardless of the type of abuse. Anyone working with children or young people needs to be vigilant to the signs listed below.

Regular flinching in response to sudden but harmless actions, for example someone raising a hand quickly or shouting out instructions

Showing an inexplicable fear of particular places or making excuses to avoid particular people

Knowledge of ‘adult issues’, for example alcohol, drugs and/or sexual behaviour which is inappropriate for their age or stage of development

Angry outbursts or behaving aggressively towards other children, adults, animals etc.

Becoming withdrawn or appearing anxious, clingy or depressed · In older children, risky behaviour such as substance misuse or criminal activity

Not receiving adequate medical attention after injuries

NB: These signs do not necessarily mean that a child is being abused. There may well be other reasons for changes in a child’s behaviour such as a bereavement or relationship problems between parents/carers, or job loss or financial strain. In assessing whether signs are related to abuse or not, they need to be considered in the context of the child’s development and situation.

Physical Abuse Physical abuse happens when a child is deliberately hurt, causing injuries such as cuts, bruises, burns and broken bones. It can involve hitting, kicking, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or suffocating. All children have trips, falls and accidents, which may cause cuts, bumps and bruises. These injuries tend to affect bony areas of their body such as elbows, knees and shins and are not usually a cause for concern.

Injuries that are more likely to indicate physical abuse include:

Bruises on the cheeks, ears, palms, arms and feet

Bruises on the back, buttocks, tummy, hips and backs of legs

Multiple bruises in clusters, usually on the upper arms or outer thighs (like finger tips marks from grabbing)

Bruising which looks like it has been caused by a hand or an object such as a belt or shoe

Large oval shaped bite marks

Burns or scalds which have a clear shape of an object, for example cigarette burns, especially if seen on the backs of hands, on feet or legs.

There can be other signs of physical abuse, including multiple injuries inflicted at different times. If a child is frequently injured and the bruises or injuries are unexplained or the explanation doesn’t match the injury, the information should be passed to a relevant authority for investigation. If medical attention is required, then medical help should not be delayed.

In a Karate Dojo situation physical abuse may also occur due to: -

Demonstrating techniques too hard or repeatedly where the intention is to hurt or intimidate the person

Over training and inappropriate training which disregards the capacity of the participant’s immature and growing body. This also applies to over competing.

Forcing (or suggesting) that a child loses weight to make a weight category for competition. (This is a complex issue, as weight and diet issues are beyond the scope of this document. It is safe to say that a child should eat a healthy well balanced diet and to train as appropriate to the capacity of their immature and growing body.)

Inappropriate levels of physical exercises as a punishment can send mixed messages, as children and young people want to train and exercise to have fun and stay healthy.It could also be seen as a bullying tactic which all coaches and instructors must be aware of.

Behavioural Signs

Child is reluctant to have parents contacted

Child has aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts. (Don’t use this in isolation and aggressive behaviour and outbursts can be related to ADHD or Tourette's)

Child runs away or shows fear of going home

Child flinches when approached or touched

Child reluctant to get changed for PE or school sport

Child covers up arms and legs with a long sleeved shirt, even when it is hot

Child shows signs of depression or moods that are out of character with their general behaviour

Child is unnaturally compliant to parents or carers

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities (including sexting and sharing of indecent images). It doesn’t necessarily involve violence and the child may not be aware that what is happening is abuse. Child sexual abuse can involve contact abuse and/or non-contact abuse. Contact abuse happens when the abuser makes physical contact with the child. Males do not solely perpetrate sexual abuse; females also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

It includes:

Sexual touching of any part of the body whether the child is wearing clothes or not

Rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child’s mouth, vagina or anus

Forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity

Making a child take their clothes off, touch someone else's genitals or masturbate

Non-Contact sexual abuse involves non-touching activities. It can happen online or in person and includes:-

Encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts

Not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by others

Showing pornography to a child

Making, viewing or distributing child abuse images

Allowing someone else to make, view or distribute child abuse images

Online sexual abuse includes

Persuading or forcing or coercing a child to send or post sexually explicit images of themselves. This is sometimes referred to as sexting.

Persuading or forcing a child to take part in sexual activities via a webcam or smartphone or use of live streaming or any form of social media apps.

Having sexual conversations with a child by text or online

Meeting a child following online sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them.

An abuser may threaten to send sexually explicit images, video or copies of sexual conversations to the young person's family and friends and even the school unless they take part in other sexual activity. Images or videos may continue to be shared long after the abuse has stopped. Abusers will often try to build an emotional connection with a child in order to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse. This is known as grooming.

In a Karate Dojo situation sexual abuse may be:

An adult using the context of a training session to touch young people in an inappropriate sexual way, e.g. stretching/adjustment of their karate suit, for example

Coaches implying better progression of the participant in return for sexual favours

Coaches/volunteers using their position of power and authority to coerce young participants into a sexual relationship

Children and young people being required to weigh-in naked or in underwear, or to share photographs of themselves in underwear to show their weight

Spotting the Signs of Sexual Abuse

There may be physical signs that a child has suffered sexual abuse, these include:

Physical Signs

Pain, itching, bruising or bleeding in the genital or anal area

Child has any sexually transmitted disease

Child has recurrent genital discharge or urinary tract infections, without apparent cause

Child has stomach pains or discomfort when he/she is walking or sitting down. (This can also be a sign of Female Genital Mutilation – FGM.)

Behavioural Signs

Changes in the child’s mood or behaviour may cause concern. They may want to avoid spending time with specific people. In particular, the child may show sexual behaviour that is inappropriate for their age.

They could use sexual language or know things about sex that you wouldn’t expect them to

A child might become sexually active at a young age

They might be promiscuous

They make sexual drawings or use sexual language

Child has an apparent fear of someone

Child possesses unexplained amounts of money or receives expensive presents

The child runs away from home

Child is self harming, self mutilating or has attempted suicide

Child alludes to secrets they cannot reveal

Reluctant to get changed for PE or school sport

Child displays sexualized behaviour or knowledge beyond their years

Child has eating problems such as anorexia or bulimia

Child abuses drugs or other substances

Child Sexual Exploitation

This is a type of sexual abuse. Young people in exploitative situations and relationships receive things such as gifts, money drugs, alcohol, status or affection in exchange for taking part in sexual activities. Young people may be tricked into believing they are in a loving consensual relationship. Often they trust their abuser and don’t understand that they are being abused. They may depend on their abuser or be too scared to tell anyone what’s happening. They are vulnerable to being groomed and exploited online.Sexual exploitation can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults and involve multiple perpetrators.

Harmful Sexual behaviour

Children and young people who develop harmful sexual behaviour harm themselves and others. However, it is normal for children to show signs of sexual behaviour at each stage in their development. Children also develop at different rates and some may be slightly more or less advanced than other children in their age group. Behaviours which might be concerning depend on the child’s age and the situation. If you are unsure, then contact ChildLine or your safeguarding officer.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is persistent and, over time, it severely damages a child’s emotional health and development.

It involves: -

Humiliating, putting down or constantly criticising a child

Shouting at or threatening a child or calling them names

Mocking a child or making them perform degrading acts

Constantly blaming or scapegoating a child for things which are not their fault

Trying to control a child’s life and not recognising their individuality

Not allowing them to have friends or develop socially

Manipulating a child

Exposing a child to distressing events or interactions such as drug taking,

Heavy drinking or domestic abuse

Persistently ignoring them

Being cold and emotionally unavailable during interactions with a child

Never saying anything kind, positive or encouraging to a child and failing to praise their achievements and successes.

In a Karate Dojo situation emotional abuse may occur when coaches, volunteers or parents:

Provide repeated negative feedback in public or private

Repeatedly ignore a young participant's effort to progress

Repeatedly demand performance levels above the young person's capability

Over-emphasises the winning ethic

Making a young person feel worthless, unvalued

Pushing a child too hard or not recognising their limitations

Mocking a child for failure to grasp a punch/kick or exercise

Making an example of them in class in front of other participants that they are unable to grasp an activity

Spotting the signs of Emotional Abuse

There aren’t usually any obvious physical signs of emotional abuse, but you may spot signs in a child’s actions or emotions. It is important to remember that some children are naturally quiet and self-contained, whilst others are more open and affectionate. Mood swings and challenging behaviour are also a normal part of growing up for teenagers and children going through puberty. Be alert to behaviours, which appear to be out of character to the individual child or are particularly unusual for their stage of development.

Babies and pre-school children who are being emotionally abused may:

Be overly-affectionate towards strangers or people they haven’t known for very long

Lack confidence or become wary or anxious

Be aggressive or nasty towards other children and animals.

Older children may:

Use language, act in a way or know about things that you wouldn’t expect for their age

Struggle to control strong emotions or have extreme outbursts

Seem isolated from their parents

Lack social skills or have few, if any, friends

Fear making mistakes

Fear their parents being approached regarding their behaviour


Domestic Abuse

Children’s exposure to domestic abuse between parents and/or carers is child abuse. Children can be directly involved in incidents of domestic abuse or they may be harmed by seeing or hearing abuse happening. The developmental and behavioural impact of witnessing domestic abuse is similar to experiencing direct abuse and is often seen by statutory agencies as a form of emotional abuse. Spotting the signs of a child being exposed to domestic abuse is very similar to those signs listed above for physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as neglect.

Bullying and Cyber-bullying Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It usually happens over a lengthy period of time and can harm a child both physically and emotionally. It is not always by an adult abusing a young person; often it is child on child.

Bullies can be both male and female. Although bullying often takes place in schools, it does and can occur anywhere where there is poor or inadequate supervision: on the way to/from school, at a sporting event, in the playground, in changing rooms or indeed online.

Bullying includes:

Verbal abuse, such as name-calling

Non-verbal abuse such as hand signs or glaring

Emotional abuse, such as threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone

Exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone

Undermining, by constant criticism or spreading rumours

Controlling or manipulating someone

Racial, sexual or homophobic bulling

Physical assaults such as hitting and pushing

Making silent, hoax or abusive calls

In a Karate Dojo situation bullying may occur when:

A parent/coach pushes too hard

A coach adopts a win-at-all costs philosophy

A participant intimidates others instead of encouraging and supporting their fellow participants

An official places unfair pressure on a person

Coaches hold a position of power in the relationship with their athlete and must not abuse this position to bully children/vulnerable young adults in their care.

In Karate situation bullying may occur when the coach is:

Overly zealous

Resorts to aggressive, physical or verbal behaviour

Torments, humiliates or ignores an athlete in their charge/care

Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, home, online or in a sporting environment. When bullying happens online, it can involve social networks, games and mobile devices. Online bullying can also be known as cyber–bullying.

Cyber-bullying includes:

Sending threatening or abusive text messages

Creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos

Trolling – sending menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online gaming sites

Excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups

Setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child

Encouraging young people to self harm

Voting for or against someone in an abusive poll

Creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name

Spotting the signs of bullying and cyber-bullying It can be hard to know whether or not a child is being bullied. They might not tell anyone because they are scared that the bullying will get worse. There may also be a feeling of shame and embarrassment and that the bullying is their fault.

No one sign indicates for certain that a child is being bullied, but the following are possible signs to look out for:

Belongings getting ‘lost’ or damaged

Physical injuries such as unexplained bruises

Being afraid or very reluctant to partner up with another student in class

Stealing money

Being nervous, losing confidence or becoming distressed and withdrawn

Bullying others (particularly children younger than them)


Neglect is persistently ailing to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, usually resulting in serious damage to their health and development. Neglect may involve a parent or carer's failure to:

Provide adequate food, clothing or shelter

Supervise a child (including leaving them with unsuitable carers) or keep them safe from harm or danger

Make sure the child receives appropriate health and/or dental care

Make sure the child receives a suitable education

Meet the child’s basic emotional needs; e.g. that a parent may ignore their children when they are distressed or even when they are happy or excited. This can be seen as emotional neglect

In a Karate Dojo situation neglect may occur when:

Young participants are left alone without proper supervision

A young participant is exposed to unnecessary heat or cold.

A young person is not provided with necessary fluids for rehydration

A young person is exposed to an unacceptable risk of injury

Exposing children to unhygienic conditions

Exposing children to a lack of medical care

Non-intervention in incidents of bullying or taunting

Failing to notice a loose belt around a gi or that trousers of a gi are too long and could cause possible injury if not dealt with

Spot the signs of possible Neglect

Children who appear hungry (they may try to steal food)

Children who appear dirty or smelly and whose clothes are unwashed or inadequate for the weather conditions

Children who are left alone or unsupervised

Children who fail to thrive or who have untreated injuries, health or dental problems

Children with poor language, communication or social skills for their stage of development

Children who live in an unsuitable home environment, for example the house is very dirty and unsafe, perhaps with evidence of substance misuse or violence

Child that fails to grow or to thrive (if the child is thriving away from home e.g. trips or competitions)

Behavioural signs

Child is tired all the time

Child frequently misses class

Child is a compulsive stealer or scavenger of food

Poor Practice and Abuse

It is important that safeguarding children are openly discussed to help create an environment where people are more aware of the issues and become more sensitive to the needs of children.

An environment that includes the ability to identify and report concerns creates a safer culture for children and young people.

Occasionally allegations may relate to poor practice where an adult or a peer’s behaviour is inappropriate and may be causing concern to a young person within a Karate setting.

Poor practice (as outlined above), includes any behaviour that contravenes existing Codes of Conduct, infringes an individual’s rights and/or reflects a failure to fulfil the highest standards of care. Poor practice is unacceptable in Karate and will be treated seriously with appropriate actions taken. Sometimes a child or young person may not be aware that practice is poor or abusive and they may tolerate behaviour without complaint. An example of this is a child with a physical or communication impairment who is used to being excluded from activities or a bullied young person who is used to being mocked. Children may also be used to their cultural needs being ignored or their race abused. This does not make it acceptable.

Many children and young people will lack the skills or confidence to complain and it is therefore extremely important that adults in the club advocate for the children and young people. Creating a safer culture for ALL children is a paramount requirement for all those involved in Karate.

Responding to Concerns

Even for those experienced in working in the area of protecting children and investigating child abuse, it is not easy to recognise a situation where abuse may occur or has already taken place.

TKI acknowledge that coaches and officials, whether in a paid or voluntary capacity, are not experts in recognising signs of abuse.

However, children and young people are reluctant to tell someone when they are being abused, so it is essential that every adult is aware of the possible signals that a child or young person's welfare or safety could be at risk. Often you rely on instinct that something is not quite right. There is rarely a clear sign of concern.

The important thing to remember is that it is not your responsibility to establish if abuse has occurred, but it is your duty of care to report concerns to either your Safeguarding Welfare officer or safeguarding lead or call Child Line or NSPCC for advice. Sometimes your piece of information or concern could be the piece of the jigsaw puzzle that helps statutory agencies see the bigger picture of that child’s life.


You may be the only adult in the child’s or young person's life who is in a position to notice the signs, or you may be the only adult in that child’s life whom they trust to tell.

Never allow a child or young person’s disability or cultural differences to explain away concerns. This is not a judgment for you to make. Try not to allow your own morals and beliefs interfere with your decision-making.

Never assume that someone else has identified and acted on the concern

Take time to explore the concerns

Always make an accurate written record of

What you saw;

What you did;

What you said;

What the child said;

What you did next: and

Who you told

Not acting is NEVER an option

All children have the right to a safe, loving and stable childhood. Whilst it is parents and carer who have primary care for their children, local authorities have overarching responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people in their area. They have a number of statutory obligations set out in the Children Act 1989 and 2004. Whilst they may play a lead role, safeguarding children, promoting their welfare and protecting them from harm is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play in safeguarding, identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.