Club Safeguarding

SSLSC Guidance on Collecting Children & Parental Responsibility

Parents should be aware that the responsibility for children is automatically handed over to parents at the end of each club session. Whether on the beach, or in the swimming pool, the SSLSC's duty of care becomes the parent's/carer's responsibility at the end of each training session. Parents will be notified of any change of timings to club sessions.

Parents should aim to arrive at least 5 minutes before the end of the session to collect and take responsibility for their child. Late collection of children presents a potentially difficult problem to club coaches and leaders, as SSLSC will not be responsible for transporting children home should parents/carers be delayed.

It is solely the responsibility of the parents/carers and not of the club for any child that makes their own way to and from Southbourne Surf Life Saving Club sessions.

Every adult has a responsibility to safeguard children and young people.

All SLSGB members need to be aware that:

  • As a member of SLSGB, there is an added expectation and a legal duty to keep children safe.
  • Failure to do this, could result in potential action from external agencies which could lead to prosecution.
  • SLSGB has a moral and legal duty of care to safeguard all children involved in its activities from harm.
  • All children have a right to protection and the needs of disabled children/adults and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. SLSGB is committed to the safety and protection of all children involved in all its activities through adherence to safeguarding guidelines adopted by the organisation.

We are committed to ensuring that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse or poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
  • All SLSGB representatives who work with children will be recruited with regard to their suitability for that responsibility and will be provided with guidance and/or training in good practice and child protection procedures and checks undertaken where required and able to
  • Working in partnership with children, their parents/carers and other agencies is key to promoting young people’s welfare.

SLSGB believes that anyone who has the responsibility for the care of a child should “do what is reasonable in all circumstances for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting a childs welfare” in accordance with The Childrens Act 1989. Adoption of and adherence to this policy is mandatory for any Coaches or Officials operating within SLSGB or SLSGB affiliated clubs.

Board members, volunteers, coaches, parents, paid staff and the participants themselves, all bear a responsibility to implement the policy, and each has a right to be protected by it. SLSGB is also committed to supporting anyone who, in good faith, reports his or her concerns that they or a colleague, is at risk, or may actually be, being abused.

Good Practice & Conduct

All SLSGB representatives should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote children’s welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made.

The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate:

  • Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication)
  • Treating all children fairly, and with respect and dignity
  • Always putting the welfare of each child first, before winning or achieving goals
  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with children (e.g. it is not appropriate for SLSGB representatives to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them, as they are in a position of trust)
  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process
  • Making the experience of Surf Life Saving fun and enjoyable; promoting fair play
  • Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving, particularly when demonstrating techniques within a swimming environment. Children and their parents/carers should always be consulted and their agreement gained
  • Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport
  • Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure you work in pairs
  • Ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, a male and female adult should always accompany them. However, remember that same gender abuse can also occur
  • Ensuring that at tournaments or residential events, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms
  • Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of children
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of children – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
  • Securing parental/carer consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment
  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given
  • Requesting written parental/carer consent if SLSGB representatives are required to transport childrenin their cars
  • Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by a young person may lead to disciplinary action in accordance with the governing body guidance and reports being made to external agencies like the police or social work departments
  • Fully uphold the guidance on how to appropriately use social media within this policy, and promote its safe and responsible use.

The following SLSGB roles may hold a position of trust with children: Trainer Assessor, Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Manager, Sports Official, Nipper/Youth Helper, Club Officer, Patrol Member. These roles are to uphold their positions of trust. Any breach of a position of trust will be referred to the Case Management Team to assess as appropriate and may lead to the suspension or barring of membership to SLSGB and referring to appropriate agencies.

What to do if you're worried about a member, volunteer, coach, official, or other young person in surf lifesaving

Worried action flow

What to do if you're worried a child is being abused outside of surf life saving (but the concern is identified through the child's involvement in the club)

Worried outside action flow


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This may include the following people:

  • The Club Safeguarding Officer
  • The Club Chairman
  • The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused
  • The person making the allegation
  • Social Services/Police
  • The SLSGB National Safeguarding Manager
  • The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child), but only on advice from the statutory agencies.

Seven Golden Rules of Information Sharing

  1. Remember that the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately
  2. Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
  3. Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.
  4. Share with consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case.
  5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.
  6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
  7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.