Child Protection & Welfare Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set forth Swanston Golf Club’s statement of policy and procedures for the safeguarding of children. The objective of this policy is to protect children from any harm that may be caused due to their involvement with Swanston Golf Club. This includes harm arising from:

  • The conduct of staff, volunteers or associated personnel associated with Swanston Golf Club.
  • The design and implementation of Swanston Golf Club ’s programmes and activities

Safeguarding Policy (Children)

The policy lays out the commitments made by Swanston Golf Club, and informs staff, volunteers and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

This policy does not cover:

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace – this is dealt with under Swanston Golf Club’s Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.
  • Safeguarding concerns in the wider community not perpetrated by or disclosed to Swanston Golf Club or associated personnel.

2. Scope

  • All staff contracted by Swanston Golf Club
  • Associated personnel whilst engaged with work or visits related to Swanston Golf Club, including but not limited to the following: consultants, volunteers, and contractors, programme visitors including journalists, PGA Pros, professional players, celebrities and politicians.
  • The term “children” in this document covers all young persons under the age of 18

3. Policy Statement

Swanston Golf Club is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children in its care.  It recognises the responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.  Staff and volunteers will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and young people.

This policy outlines Swanston Golf Club’s commitment to protecting children throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

  • The welfare of children is the primary concern.
  • Child protection is everyone’s responsibility.
  • All children – regardless of age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation – have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse.
  • Children have the right to express views on all matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.
  • Organisations shall work in partnership together with children and parents to promote the welfare, health and development of children.

Swanston Golf Club will:

  • Promote the health and welfare of children by providing opportunities for them to take part in golf safely.
  • Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children.
  • Promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the wellbeing of children and protect them from abuse.
  • Recruit, train, support and supervise its staff, members and volunteers to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves.
  • Require staff, members and volunteers to adopt and abide by this Safeguarding Policy and associated procedures.
  • Respond to any allegations of misconduct or abuse of children in line with this Policy and associated procedures as well as implementing, where appropriate, the relevant disciplinary and appeals procedures.
  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Policy and associated procedures.

4. Prevention

Swanston Golf Club’s responsibilities

Swanston Golf Club will:

  • Ensure all staff and volunteers have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy.
  • Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with Swanston Golf Club.  This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated.
  • Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff, volunteers and associated personnel.
  • Ensure staff, volunteers and associated personnel receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their role in the club.
  • Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.

Staff and volunteer responsibilities

Child safeguarding

Swanston Golf Club staff, volunteers and associated personnel must not:

  • Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18.
  • Sexually abuse or exploit children.
  • Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.
  • Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children including child labour or trafficking.

Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse

Swanston Golf Club staff, volunteers and associated personnel must not:

  • Exchange money, employment, goods or services, including team selection or the promise of team selection, for sexual activity.

Additionally, Swanston Golf Club staff, volunteers and associated personnel are obliged to:

  • Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
  • Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations to the designated Safeguarding Officer, or appropriate staff member or appropriate authority in their absence in urgent cases.

5. Reporting a Concern

Swanston Golf Club will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff, volunteers and the communities we work with.

Any staff or volunteers reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels (or if they request it) will be protected by Swanston Golf Club Disclosure of Malpractice in the Workplace (Whistleblowing) Policy.

Swanston Golf Club will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.

How to report a safeguarding concern (see Appendix 3)

Staff members or volunteers who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to the Safeguarding Officer or line manager [as appropriate].  If the staff member or volunteer does not feel comfortable reporting to their Safeguarding Officer or line manager (e.g. if they feel that the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated in the concern) they may report to any other appropriate staff member.  For example, this could be a senior manager or a member of the HR Team or Board.

The SAFEGUARDING OFFICER is Shonagh Ross-Nimmo 07813 029325. This is a voluntary non paid role.

6. Response

Swanston Golf Club will follow up safeguarding reports and concerns according to this policy and procedure, and legal and statutory obligations (see Procedures for reporting and response to safeguarding concerns in Associated Policies).

Swanston Golf Club will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff or volunteers found in breach of policy.

Swanston Golf Club will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff, volunteers or associated personnel, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation).  Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor.

7. Confidentiality

It is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns.  Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need-to-know basis only and should be kept secure at all times.

GDPR and child protection

GDPR emphasises the importance of asking children for consent before sharing personal information.  If a child is mature enough, they should be given the opportunity to decide whether they agree to their confidential information being shared. If a child does not have the capacity to make their own decisions, their parent or carer (unless this would put the child at risk) should be asked.

However, if you have a child protection concern, you must share information with the relevant agencies, even if you have not been given consent. GDPR does not affect this principle.

8. Review

This Policy and associated Procedures will be regularly reviewed:

  • In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the protection of children or following any changes within Swanston Golf Club
  • Following any issues or concerns raised about the protection of children within Swanston Golf Club
    In all other circumstances, at least every three years.

Club Safeguarding Officer:
Shonagh Ross-Nimmo
Contact Number:
07813 029325
Date: 1st March 2024


The Children (Scotland) Act 1995, Section 5 provides the legal basis for asking sports organisations to implement child protection policies and procedures, and states that any person (16 years or over) who has the care and control of a child has a responsibility to do what is reasonable in all circumstances to safeguard the child’s health, development and welfare.

In Scotland, a child legally becomes an adult when they turn 16, but the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and statutory guidance that supports the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, includes all children and young people up to the age of 18. Where concerns are raised about a 16- or 17-year-old, the Club will consider which legislation or guidance is appropriate to follow, given the age and situation of the young person at risk. For example, the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 can be applied to over-16s where the criteria are met.

The meaning of a child is extended to cover any person under the age of 18 in cases concerning sexual abuse while in a position of trust (Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009) and the sexual exploitation of children under the age of 18 through prostitution or pornography (Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005)

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) sets out the rights of every child in the world to:

  • survive
  • grow
  • participate
  • fulfil their potential

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 is in place to make sure unsuitable individuals cannot work or volunteer with children or adults at risk (regulated work). The Act aims to provide a robust system by which unsuitable people are prevented from doing regulated work with children or adults at risk and by which people who become unsuitable are identified.

The Equality Act 2010 protects children, young people and adults against discrimination, harassment and victimisation in relation to housing, education, clubs, the provision of services and work.

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law.



  • protecting a person’s right to a safe environment, free from abuse or neglect
  • taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, abuse, neglect and harassment from occurring
  • to protect children and young people and enable them to live free from harm, abuse neglect and harassment and
    to respond appropriately when harm does occur

In our sport and club, we understand it to mean protecting children from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff and volunteers or programmes.  It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experiences of abuse and neglect, whilst ensuring that a child’s wellbeing is promoted.  This includes, where appropriate, having regard for their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs.

Regulated role/work
There are two types of regulated work—work with children and work with adults at risk. Regulated work can be either paid or unpaid, therefore includes volunteers.  For an activity (or work) to be considered ‘regulated work’, the carrying out of the activity (or work) must be part of the individual’s normal duties, i.e. something an individual does as part of their role on an ongoing basis.
A person below the age of 18.
Risk is the likelihood or probability of a particular outcome given the presence of factors in a child or young person’s life.
Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights.
Psychological harm
Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as name-calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation.
Sexual abuse
The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
Sexual exploitation
The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes. When a child or young person is exploited, they are given things like gifts, drugs, money, status, affection, and promises of or actual team selection in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they are in a loving and consensual relationship. This is called grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they are being abused.
The person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘survivor’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience and the capacity to survive, however it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.
Programmes includes playing golf, taking part in competitions, coaching and any other club or member activities, including social events.Appendix 3
Reporting a Concern Flowchart

*Informing Parents:
Where you have reason to believe that a parent/carer/family member may be responsible for abuse you should always seek advice from police or social work FIRST and follow their advice as to who informs parents. For all other concerns, parents/ carers should be notified that a referral has been made at the earliest opportunity.

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