Monday, 8 June 2020

Clubs, and after school activities – what to look for to keep your child safe

We all know the importance of our children being stimulated and having fun outside school. Whether that’s encouraging a hobby or a skill, socialising and making new friends or an afterschool club whilst you’re working late. Clubs, sports and extra-curricular activities are perfect ways to develop your child’s abilities, social skills and independence.
As important and as exciting as they are for children, clubs must be safe and secure places for your child to learn and enjoy themselves. With many high profile abuse cases coming to light in the media – click here if you want to file a legal claim – it’s never been more crucial to vet any club or organisation that your child may be interested in joining.
Here we’ll take a look at what to look for to keep your child safe outside of school.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions 
When you're signing your child up to a new club, any questions you have must be answered thoroughly, especially if you're enquiring about the safety of your child when they're in their care. Asking for more information about safeguarding and child safety shouldn’t be a chore, or leave you feeling uncomfortable. If the answers you receive make you feel uncomfortable or you’re not completely satisfied, consider looking elsewhere. 
All volunteers are properly vetted 
If the club takes on adult volunteers to help run the club or to help look after the children, the club in question must have a proper vetting process. Anyone working with children should be qualified or have good references.
There is a clear complaints procedure
It’s important to know that if there is an issue, that it will be taken seriously and followed up. 
There should be appropriate supervision procedures and practices in place for children of all ages and during all activities. Children should be supervised by trained adults where appropriate. 
Safe environments 
Any activity your child takes part in should be done in a safe environment. This means that there should be separate bathrooms/changing areas for children and adults where possible. And no child should be pressured into doing something they don’t want to take part in.
Always check in with your child
It’s always a good idea to check in with your children about their experiences at their club or organisation. Make sure that they’re happy and that they know if anything seems odd or not right, they can speak to you about their concerns. 

Always make sure that the organisation has your contact details and that your child is free to contact you at any time during their time with them. If you have any concerns, speak with the organisation. 

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