The Reporting Procedure
If the designated person has reasonable grounds for concern, the matter should be reported to the local health board or social services, following standard reporting procedures.
The Sports Leader
While the Designated Person makes the report to the local health board, the Chair of the club should deal with the Leader in question. The Chair should privately inform the leader that
- (a) an allegation has been made againsthim or her and
- (b) the nature of the allegation.
He or she should be afforded an opportunity to respond. His or her response should be noted and passed on to the health board or
The Leader should be asked to step aside pending the outcome of the investigation. When a person is asked to step aside it should be made clear that it is only a precautionary measure and will not prejudice any later disciplinary proceedings.
The governing body should be informed by the Designated Person that the leader has been asked to stand aside.
The Irish Amateur Archery Association may consider disciplinary action on the Leader but should ensure that this does not interfere with the investigation of the Statutory Authorities. It is important that consideration be taken of the outcome of the investigation and any implications it might have.
The fact that the alleged abuser has not been prosecuted or been found guilty does not mean that they are appropriate to work with young people in the future.
Confidentiality should be maintained in respect of all issues and people involved in cases of abuse, welfare or bad practice. It is important that the rights of both the child and the person about whom the complaint has been made are protected.
The following points should be kept in mind:
- A guarantee of confidentiality or undertakings regarding secrecy cannot be given as the welfare of the child will supersede all other considerations.
- All information should be treated in a careful and sensitive manner and should be discussed only with those who need to know.
- Information should be conveyed to the parents or guardians of the child in a sensitive way Giving information to others on a ‘need to know’ basis for the protection of a child is not a breach of confidentiality.
- All persons involved in a child protection process (the child, his or her parents or guardians, the alleged offender, his or her family and Archery Leaders) should be afforded appropriate respect, fairness, support and confidentiality at all stages of the procedure.
- Information should be stored in a secure place, with limited access only to designated people.
- The requirements of the Data Protection laws should be adhered to.
- Breach of confidentiality is a serious manner.
Anonymous complaints can be difficult to deal with but should not be ignored. In all cases the safety and welfare of the child or children is paramount.
Any such complaints relating to inappropriate behaviour should be brought to the attention of the Designated Officer of the Irish Amateur Archery Association. The information should be checked and handled in a confidential manner.
Rumours should not be allowed to hang in the air. Any rumours relating to inappropriate behaviour should be brought to the attention of the Designated Officer of the Irish Amateur Archery Association and checked out without delay.