Dealing with allegations
Any allegations involving child welfare must be taken seriously, investigated and treated confidentially. If an allegation is made against a particular person, the outcome may include any or all of the following:
- The club will immediately ask the person to stop working with children in golf while a full investigation is carried out. This is a precaution to protect all parties involved.
- On completion of the investigation, the golf NGB will help the club decide whether it’s appropriate for the person to return to work with children in golf, and how this will be managed.
- The NGB will assess, on a case-by-case basis, any support needed for the person about whom allegations have been made and may appoint an independent person to provide this.
When an allegation has been raised, it’s important that the club follows the correct procedures to report it.
Dealing with alleged abuse
It is not the responsibility of the CWO, or anyone working in golf, to decide if a disclosure constitutes child abuse. It’s the CWO’s responsibility to act on any concern and refer it to CSC and/or police and the NGB CPO. The NSPCC Helpline (0800 800 5000) can talk through any concerns anonymously.
If action needs to be taken urgently, contact the police by dialling 999. The police and CSC provide out of hours service.
When a disclosure is made to CSC, they are legally bound to make enquiries where a child may be at risk of ‘significant harm’. If a criminal offence is suspected, the CSC will always work in partnership with the police. Their primary duty is to ensure the welfare of the child.
Allegations of previous abuse
An adult who was abused as a child by a person who is still working with children can make allegations of abuse some time after the incident. When such an allegation is made, you should follow the procedures in the Responding to Concerns and Allegations section. This is because other children, either within the sport or outside it, may be at risk from this person.
Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is legally prohibited from working with children.
Where there is a complaint of abuse, there could be three types of investigation, each of which may have some level of involvement from the NGB:
- Disciplinary procedure or misconduct – the Golf NGB may be involved.
- Criminal – the police are involved.
- Child protection – CSC are involved, and they may possibly involve the police.
If, after consideration and investigation by the CSC or police, the incident is deemed to be poor practice, bullying or harassment, the golf club is empowered to deal with this as misconduct. It’s recommended they adopt and apply appropriate NGB disciplinary procedures.