The MAAN Organization is committed to implementing policies, which ensure that everyone accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse.    This means to follow procedures to protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.

The aim of the policy is also to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.


1.1 Policy Statement

The MAAN  Organization is committed to the following:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount
  • all children, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity should be able to participate in a fun and safe environment.
  • taking all reasonable steps to protect children from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings
  • all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
  • working in partnership with parents and children is essential for the protection of children
  • all MAAN Organization employees 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.

1.2 Application of this policy


MAAN  Organization demands the highest ethical standards within the organisation and amongst collaborating organisations and individuals. This includes:

  • Employed staff
  • Volunteers and interns
  • Board members
  • Program Participants (e.g. trainers, group leaders, facilitators) and consultants
  • Collaborating community groups
  • Donors and funding bodies
  • Sub-contracted consultants for program input, activities or other

1.3 Monitor and review the policy and procedures

This policy is formally binding on those individuals operating under the direction of MAAN Organization, who are required to sign a declaration agreeing to be bound by the policy on commencement. Employee contracts contain provision for the organisation to dismiss, suspend or transfer staff to other duties if they breach the policy.

In addition, MAAN Organization will only collaborate with organisations and individuals who can specifically demonstrate that they can meet a comparable ethical standard to that outlined in this policy. 


The implementation of procedures should be regularly monitored and reviewed. The welfare officer should regularly report progress, challenges, difficulties, achievements gaps and areas where changes are required to the management committee.


2. Code of Conduct for Promoting Good Practice

2.1 Introduction

To provide children with the best possible experience and opportunities everyone must operate within an accepted ethical framework such as The Coaches Code of Conduct.                 


It is not always easy to distinguish poor practice from abuse.    It is therefore NOT the responsibility of employees or participants in MAAN Organisation to make judgements about whether or not abuse is taking place.    It is however their responsibility to identify poor practice and possible abuse and act if they have concerns about the welfare of the child, as explained in section 4.   

This section will help identify what is meant by good practice and poor practice .


2.2 Good Practice

All personnel should adhere to the following principles and action:                 

  • always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets)
  • promote fairness, confront and deal with bullying
  • treat all young people equally and with respect and dignity
  • always put the welfare of the young person first.
  • maintain a safe and appropriate distance (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them)
  • Involve parents/cares wherever possible, encourage parents to take responsibility for their own child. 
  • be an excellent role model, this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol of young people
  • always give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of the young person and do not risk sacrificing welfare in a desire for organizational or personal achievements.      This means avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
  • keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of any treatment given

2.3 Poor Practice

The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel:                 

  • unnecessarily spending excessive amounts of time alone with young people away from others
  • taking young people alone on journeys, however short
  • taking young people to your home where they will be alone with you
  • sharing a room with a young person
  • engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
  • allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
  • allowing young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • making sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun
  • allow allegations made by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
  • do things of a personal nature that the young person can do for themselves


3. Defining Child Abuse                  

3.1 Introduction

There are four main types of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.     The abuser may be a family member, someone the young person encounters in residential care or in the community, including sports and leisure activities.    Any individual may abuse or neglect a young person directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming the young person.

Abuse in all of its forms can affect a young person at any age. 

  The effects can be so damaging that if not treated may follow the individual into adulthood

Young people with disabilities may be at increased risk of abuse through various factors such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, isolation and a powerlessness to protect themselves or adequately communicate that abuse had occurred.




3.2 Types of Abuse

  • Physical Abuse:  where adults physically hurt or injure a young person e.g. hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, biting, suffocating, and drowning.    Giving young people alcohol or inappropriate drugs would also constitute child abuse.

This category of abuse can also include when a parent/carer reports non-existent symptoms or illness deliberately causes ill health in a young person they are looking after.                 

  • Emotional Abuse:  the persistent emotional ill treatment of a young person, likely to cause severe and lasting adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.    It may involve telling a young person they are useless, worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued in terms of only meeting the needs of another person.    It may feature expectations of young people that are not appropriate to their age or development.    It may cause a young person to be frightened or in danger by being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted which may make the young person frightened.

Ill-treatment of children, whatever form it takes, will always feature a degree of emotional abuse.

  • Bullying  may come from another young person or an adult.    Bullying is defined as deliberate hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves.    There are three main types of bullying.

It may be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, slapping), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, name-calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text messages), emotional (e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating form the group), or sexual (e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments).


  • Neglect  occurs when an adult fails to meet the young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, to an extent that is likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development.    For example, failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect from physical harm or danger, or failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.


Refusal to give love, affection and attention can also be a form of neglect.

  • Sexual Abuse  occurs when adults (male and female) use children to meet their own sexual needs.

3.3 Indicators of Abuse

The indications that a child is being abused may include one or more of the following:                 

  • unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries
  • an injury for which an explanation seems inconsistent
  • the young person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving them
  • another young person or adult expresses concern about the welfare of a young person
  • unexplained changes in a young person’s behaviour e.g. becoming very upset, quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper
  • inappropriate sexual awareness
  • engaging in sexually explicit behaviour
  • distrust of adult’s, particularly those whom a close relationship would normally be expected
  • difficulty in making friends
  • being prevented from socialising with others
  • displaying variations in eating patterns including over eating or loss of appetite
  • losing weight for no apparent reason


Signs of bullying include:                 


  • behavioural changes such as reduced concentration and/or becoming withdrawn, clingy, depressed, tearful, emotionally up and down, reluctance to go training or competitions
  • an unexplained drop off in performance
  • physical signs such as stomach aches, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, bed wetting, scratching and bruising, damaged clothes, bingeing e.g. on food, alcohol or cigarettes
  • a shortage of money or frequents loss of possessions

3.4 Use of Photographic/Filming Equipment at Sporting Events

It must be recognised that the above list is not exhaustive, but also that the presence of one or more of the indications is not proof that abuse is taking place.      It is NOT the responsibility of those working in MAAN Organization to decide that child abuse is occurring.    It IS their responsibility to act on any concerns .

There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young people.                All clubs should be vigilant and any concerns should be reported to the Club welfare officer.                

4. Responding to Suspicions and Allegations                 

4.1 Introduction


It is not the responsibility of anyone working in MAAN Organization in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place.    However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities so that they can then make inquiries and take necessary action to protect the young person.    This applies BOTH  to allegations/suspicions of abuse occurring within MAAN Organization and to allegations/suspicions, that abuse is taking place elsewhere.

This section explains how to respond to allegations/suspicions.

4.2 Receiving Evidence of Possible Abuse

We may become aware of possible abuse in various ways.                We may see it happening, we may suspect it happening because of signs such as those listed in section 3 of this document, it may be reported to us by someone else or directly by the young person affected.                


In the last of these cases, it is particularly important to respond appropriately.                If a young person says or indicates that they are being abused, you should:                

            stay calm so as not to frighten the young person

            reassure the child that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell

            listen to the child, showing that you are taking them seriously

            keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said.   

            inform the child that you have to inform other people about what they have told you.    Tell the child this is to help stop the abuse continuing.

            safety of the child is paramount.    If the child needs urgent medical attention call an ambulance, inform the doctors of the concern and ensure they are made aware that this is a child protection issue

            record all information

            report the incident to the welfare officer


4.3  Recording Information

To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure.    In recording you should confine yourself to the facts and distinguish what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you.    Do not include your own opinions.

Information should include the following:

• The child’s name, age and date of birth

•The child’s home address and telephone number

•Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or someone else’s

•The nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant information

•A description of any visible bruising or injury, location, size etc.    Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes

•Details of witnesses to the incidents

•Have the parents been contacted?    If so what has been said?

•Has anyone else been consulted?    If so record details

•Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser?    Record detail

4.4 Reporting 

All suspicions and allegations MUST be reported appropriately.

The MAAN Organization expects it’s members and staff to discuss any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child immediately with the person in charge and subsequently to check that appropriate action has been taken.

Where there is a complaint against an employee or volunteer, there may be three types of investigation.

  • Criminal  in which case the police are immediately involved               
  • Child protection  in which case the social services (and possibly) the police will be involved               
  • Disciplinary or misconduct  in which case MAAN  Organization will be involved               

NB: If there is any doubt, you must report the incident: it may be just one of a series of other incidences which together cause concern                

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by an employee or a volunteer should be reported to the MAAN  Organization who will take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.               This will include the following:               

  • MAAN  Organization will refer the matter to social services department               
  • the parent/carer of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department               
  • the chairperson of your organisation should be notified to decide who will deal with any media inquiries and implement any immediate disciplinary proceedings              

4.5 Confidentiality 

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 includes the following people: 

  • The parents of the child 
  • The person making the allegation 
  • Social Services/police 
  • The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child) 

5. Recruiting and Selecting Personnel Who Work with Children               

5.1 Introduction               

It is important that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unsuitable people from working with children. This applies equally to paid staff and volunteers, both full and part time.To ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children the following steps should be taken when recruiting.              

5.2 Controlling Access to Children             

  • All staff and volunteers should complete an application form.            The application form will elicit information about the applicants past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record. Applicants will be required to specifically declare that they have never been charged with child exploitation offences.             
  • At least two verbal references, including at least one regarding previous work with children should be obtained and documented during the recruitment process.             
  • Evidence of identity            


5.3  Interview and Induction            

During the interview every applicant be required to answer behaviour-based questions about working with children, for example:           

  • Have you worked/volunteered with children in a similar position before? What did you like about it? What did you find difficult?           
  • How have you handled children who did not want to participate in an activity?           
  • Do you mind being supervised?           
  • What motivates you/why do you want to work with children in this program?           
  • Provide me with 3 examples of how to work safely with children.           
  • What do you think makes a good community leader or role model for children and young people?           
  • How would you handle children who were not listening to your instructions?           


5.4 Induction           

  All employees and volunteers should receive formal or informal induction during which:          

  • A check should be made that the application form has been completed in full, including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures.          
  • Their qualifications should be substantiated          
  • The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified          
  • They should sign up to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Conduct          
  • Child Protection Procedures are explained and training needs identified e.g. basic child protection awareness          

During the induction process, the new employee or volunteer will be required to sign a statement declaring that they understand and agree to be bound by the terms of this policy. In the statement the new employee that will acknowledge that any breach of the policy may result in termination of employment and referral to the police or other child protection authority.          


5.5 Training          

In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:         

  • Recognise their      
  • responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice and/or abuse     
  • Respond to concerns expressed by a child     
  • Work safely and effectively with children     


MAAN  Organization requires:     

  • All staff and volunteers who have access to children to undergo a criminal history check    
  • All employees and volunteers to undertake relevant child protection training or undertake a form of home study, to ensure their practice is exemplary and to facilitate the development of positive culture towards good practice and child protection    
  • All staff and volunteers to receive advisory information outlining good/bad practice and informing them what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person    
  • All leaders should have an up to date first aid qualification.    
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