Sport can and does have a very powerful and positive influence on people – especially young people. Not only can it provideopportunities for enjoyment and achievement; it can also develop valuable qualities such as self- esteem, leadership and teamwork. These positive effects can only take place if sport is in the right hands - in the hands of those who place the welfare of all young people first and adopt practices that support, protect and empower them.

Basketball England is committed to working in partnership with all agencies to ensure that information and training opportunities are available to ensure best practice when working with children and young people. Adopting best practice will help to safeguard these participants from potential abuse as well as reducing the likelihood of allegations being made about coaches and other adults in positions of responsibility in basketball.

Basketball England

All individuals involved in basketball under the jurisdiction of Basketball England at every level, including players, match officials, coaches, administrators, club officials and spectators agree to abide by all Basketball England policies and procedures. By participating or being involved in basketball, everyone is deemed to accept and agree to these policies which are available through the Basketball England web site or on request.

This policy is mandatory for the game as a whole and provides guidelines to everyone in basketball, whether working in a professionalor voluntary capacity. It is recognised that child abuse is a very emotive and difficult subject; however everyone in basketball has a duty of care towards young and vulnerable people and can help to protect them from abuse.

Basketball England’s approach to child protection is based on the principles recognised within UK and

International legislation and Government guidance. The following has been taken into consideration:

  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • The Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • The Protection of Children Act 1999
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010
  • Every Child Matters 2004
  • No Secrets – Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse 2000
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • UN Convention for the Rights of a Child (1989)


This document is based upon Basketball England’s previous version of the ‘Child Protection Policy & Procedures (Safeguarding Children, Young People & Vulnerable Adults) 2005 which drew from the Child Protection Policy and Implementation Procedures by Sportscoach UK. Basketball England would also like to thank the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit.


BE – Basketball England

CMG – Basketball England Case Management Group

CWO – Club Welfare Officer

CPSU – Child Protection in Sport Unit

DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service

ISA – Independent Safeguarding Authority

HGRC- Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance

LSCB – Local Safeguarding Children Board LADO – Local Authority Safeguarding Officer NSPCC – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

In the document the term ‘parent’ will be used but also refers to carers or guardians. ‘Staff’ refers to anyone in a paid or voluntary role in basketball.


Every person involved in basketball has a legal and moral responsibility to protect young people from abuse. All individuals including players, match officials, coaches, administrators, club officials and spectators agree to

abide by this policy as well as all other Basketball England policies. All such individuals, by participating or being

involved in Basketball under the jurisdiction of Basketball England, are deemed to have assented to this and as such recognise and accept their responsibility to be aware of the relevant principles and accountabilities.


All Basketball England affiliates will:

  • accept the moral and legal responsibility to implement procedures to provide a duty of care for young people, safeguard their wellbeing and protect them from abuse;
  • respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of young people;
  • recognise that some young people could face additional barriers to getting help because of additional vulnerabilities which could include their ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, social background or culture.
  • ensure they adopt best practice to safeguard and protect young people from abuse, and to reduce the likelihood of allegations being made against themselves.
  • accept and abide by the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and the Basketball England Code of Ethics and Conduct as well as all other policies and procedures;
  • respond appropriately to any complaints about poor practice or allegations of abuse.


The guidance given in the procedures is based on the following principles:

  • the child’s welfare is paramount;
  • all young people, regardless of any personal characteristic including their age, gender, ability, any disability they may have, culture, racial origin, religious belief and sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse;
  • a child is recognised as being under the age of 18 years (Children’s Act 1989 definition);
  • an adult has a moral and statutory duty for the care, custody and control of any person under the age of

18 under their supervision;

  • all incidents of poor practice or suspicions of poor practice and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
  • all young people have a right to play the game of basketball in an enjoyable and safe environment;
  • young people have a right to expect appropriate support in accordance with their personal and social development with regard to their involvement in the game of basketball;
  • it is the responsibility of the child protection experts and agencies to determine whether or not abuse has taken place but it is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns.

Working in partnership with children, their parents and other agencies is essential for safeguarding. Basketball England recognises the statutory responsibilities of the appropriate bodies such as Children’s Social Care services, the Police, the Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO) and the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) to ensure the welfare of children.

All those involved in the management of young players in basketball have a duty to ensure they are:

  • allowed access to the game in a way that is appropriate for their age and ability;
  • coached and trained by appropriately qualified people;
  • not required to play in so many games, or to attend training sessions, as to become a threat to their well being;
  • not subjected to verbal or racial abuse from any source, especially from the bench and spectator gallery, including references to height, weight etc;
  • not subjected to bullying, threats or undue pressure from any source;
  • encouraged to achieve their full potential at all levels;
  • instructed on how to behave, both on and off the court;
  • afforded respect and value in a playing and training situation and any other basketball environment.


All people have the same rights to be safeguarded from abuse but it should be recognised that some children may face additional vulnerabilities and extra barriers to getting help. This could be because of their personal characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, social background or culture. There should be awareness that these characteristics may mean that they are at greater risk of abuse because of factors such as prejudice, discrimination, reduced ability to resist or report abuse, communication barriers or myths based on stereotypes.

Promoting good practice

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can generate strong emotions in those having to deal with such an allegation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about what action to take. Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them.

A teacher, coach or club volunteer may have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where protection is needed. All suspicious cases of poor practice or alleged abuse should be reported following the guidelines in thisdocument. When a person enters a club having been subjected to abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the person’s self esteem. In such instances the club must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the youngperson receives the required support.

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect young people and to protect themselves from allegations. The relevant sections of the Basketball England Code of Ethics and Conduct should be studied. In addition, the following are common sense examples of good practice and how to create a positive culture when working in basketball:

  • always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals;
  • always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment with no secrets);
  • building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers young people to share in the decision-making process;
  • making sport fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play;
  • giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism;
  • treating all young people equally and with respect and dignity;
  • maintaining a safe and appropriate distance both emotionally and physically (e.g. it is not appropriate for an adult to have an intimate relationship with a young person or vulnerable adult or to share a room with them);
  • keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport;
  • ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, they should always be accompanied by male and female staff;
  • ensuring that at tournaments or residential events, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms unless in an emergency. If an adult is working in a supervisory capacity, they should only enter children’s roomswhen accompanied by another adult;
  • being an excellent role model - this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol whilst supervising children and promoting a healthy diet;
  • recognising the developmental needs and capacity of children – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will;
  • securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment;
  • keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given, which is then reported to the parents at the first opportunity;

Coaching Ratios

Coaches working with young people should not work in isolation. It is important to have the correct level of supervision from a health and safety point of view so that coaches reduce the risk of injury to players and ensure adequate cover remains in case of an emergency. Good practice means at least one other adult in addition to the head coach should be present at every session to supervise. The additional adults do not need to be qualified coaches as long as the ratio of coaches: players are met. Participants aged under 17 should not be included in staffing ratios even if they have coaching qualifications.

The level of supervision should take account of:

  • ability and experience of the players;
  • the age and any disabilities or special requirements of any of the young people;
  • the activity being undertaken;
  • the geography of the facilities being used (i.e. restricted access to sports hall or outdoor court);
  • the ‘risk assessment’ of the activity and facility.

When working with groups of children under 8 years of age government guidance states clearly that there should be one supervising adult for every 6 children (Care Standards Act 2000). When working with young people aged over 8 years old the ideal coaching ratio is one coach for every 8-12 players. If there is an accident or an incident which may mean a member of staff has to leave, you should ensure that there are enough people remaining to supervise the group.

A person cannot become a qualified Level 1 coach until they are 16 years old, and it is expected that the person leading the sessionwill be at least Level 2 qualified (for which you have to be 18 years old). Young people can become involved in coaching but they should be assisting qualified coaches and not delivering sessions until they are appropriately qualified.

Parents as supervisors

Parents should be encouraged to accompany their children to activities, but they should not be included in supervision calculations unless they are members of the club and acting in a volunteering role or other capacity during the activity. In these circumstances, they should meet all appropriate requirements in terms of;

  • appropriate background checks;
  • clarity about their role and responsibilities;
  • who has overall responsibility for the group;
  • what is acceptable practice.

Changing rooms

Where practical, children should be supervised at all times in the changing rooms by two members of staff. Adult staff should not change or shower at the same time using the same facility as players. Staff of the opposite gender should not be present whilst players are showering or changing. For mixed gender teams, separate facilities should be made available. If a young person is uncomfortable changing or showering in public, no pressure should be placed on them to do so and they should be encouraged to do this at home. If the club has children with disabilities, involve them and their parents in deciding how they should be assisted and ensure they

are able to consent to the assistance that is offered but club members should avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which they are not appropriately trained.

All players and staff should be aware that no photographic equipment (including cameras, video cameras, mobile phones) should be used in the changing room environment.

Late collection

Every club is advised to develop and publicise their policy on the late collection of children. Clubs should make clear that it is not their responsibility to transport children home on behalf of parents who have been delayed. Clubs are advised to follow a procedure such as:

  • promoting a staff contact number for parents to phone if there is any likelihood of late collection. Coaches may not be able to answer their phone during training/games but it should be possible to leave a message.
  • asking all parents to provide an alternative contact name and number to be used if they can’t be reached on their usual numbers.

In cases of late collection, staff should:

  • attempt to contact the child's parent on their contact numbers;
  • use the alternative contact name/number if possible;
  • wait with the child at the sport facility, with other staff or parents present if possible;
  • remind parents of the policy relating to late collection.

In cases of late collection, staff should not:

  • take the child home or to any other location without speaking to their parents;
  • send the child home with another person without permission from a parent;
  • leave the child on their own;
  • ask the child to wait in a vehicle or sport facility with you alone.


Basketball England is committed to ensuring young people are protected from the inappropriate use of their images. No images should be taken at junior games, training or events without the necessary consent being obtained first including for how the images will be used, especially if this is on websites and in other publications. There is also a need to ensure the opposition have obtainedconsent from parents and are then able to give consent for images to be taken.

There is no intention to prevent coaches using videoing as a legitimate coaching aid, but players and their parents should be aware that this is part of the coaching programme and informed consent should be gained in writing, with care taken in the storing of such images.

Please see the photography guidance and templates for further information.

Relationships of trust

“The inequality at the heart of a relationship of trust should be ended before any sexual relationship begins.”

Caring for Young people and vulnerable adults and the Vulnerable? Guidance for preventing abuse of trust (Home Office, 1999). This statement recognises that genuine relationships can occur between the different levels of participants in a group. However appropriate boundaries should be upheld, especially when one person is aged under 18 or a vulnerable adult. The power and influence that a member of staff has over someone attending a group or activity cannot be under-estimated. If there is an additional competitive aspect to the activity and one person is responsible for the other’s success or failure to some extent, then the dependency will be increased. It is therefore vital for people to recognise the responsibility they must exercise in ensuring that they could not be considered to have abused their positions of trust.

Coaches should be careful to ensure that the appropriate boundaries remain in their working relationships between themselves andall players, especially those aged under 18 years. Although children aged over 16 years can legally consent to sexual activity, it is inappropriate and extremely poor practice for an adult to pursue a relationship with a young person with whom they are in a position of trust. In some cases ‘abuse of trust’ is a criminal offence (Sexual Offences Amendment Act 2000 - UK wide). Whilst the coach-player relationship exists,

coaches should not enter into an intimate relationship with players aged under 18 years old, and should be aware that in some cases, such as if they have met through a school team, a relationship could be considered inappropriate or criminal by the statutory agencies.

Appropriately qualified and vetted

It is essential that all people working or volunteering with children are appropriately vetted. Clubs should develop a safe recruitment process based on the Basketball England guidance to include procedures such as checking documents to confirm the person’s identity, obtaining references and conducting an interview if possible. For all roles which are eligible, an enhanced DBS disclosure should be completed.

It is essential that those working with children are appropriately experienced or mentored/supervised until they have gainedexperience. People in any role at a club which involves working/volunteering with children should undertake regular safeguarding training to refresh and update their knowledge.

Coaches working with children should hold appropriate coaching qualifications and must be proactive in safeguarding by taking responsibility for familiarising themselves with any relevant guidance, policies or procedures.

It is mandatory for all licenced coaches of junior teams who are eligible for a DBS disclosure to hold a valid and satisfactory DBS disclosure. Please see the additional guidance covering vetting or contact Basketball England for further information.

Recognition of poor practice and possible abuse

Staff and volunteers in basketball are not expected to be experts at recognition of child abuse. However, they do have a responsibility to act if they have any concerns about the behaviour of someone (an adult or young person) towards a child and to follow the reporting procedures in this document.

Poor practice

Allegations may relate to poor practice where an adult’s or another young person’s behaviour is inappropriate and may be causing concern/harm to a child. In the application of this policy, poor practice includes any behaviour bringing the game into disrepute of a child protection nature or contravening any Basketball England policy or guidance, infringing an individuals’ rights and/or is a failure to fulfil the highest standards of care.

Examples of poor practice never to be sanctioned:

  • use of excessive, physical or humiliating punishments;
  • failure to act when you witness possible abuse or bullying;
  • being unaware of or breaching any Basketball England policy such as the Code of Ethics and Conduct;
  • spending excessive amounts of time alone with young people away from others;
  • inviting or allowing young people into your home where they will be alone with you;
  • engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative activity, including horseplay;
  • allowing or engage in any form of inappropriate touching;
  • allowing young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged;
  • making sexually suggestive comments even in fun;
  • reducing a person to tears as a form of control;
  • allowing allegations made by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon;
  • doing things of a personal nature for young people that they can do for themselves;
  • sharing a bedroom with a young person you are not related to, even with parental permission.

N.B. We would usually recommend that personal care for very young or disabled children is not undertaken by coaches or other team staff. If a child is disabled to the extent that they need assistance with personal care, this should be carried out by their parent or carer.

If any of the following incidents should occur, you should report them immediately to another colleague and make a written note of the event. Parents should also be informed of the incident:

  • if you accidentally hurt a player;
  • if he/she seems distressed in any manner;
  • if a player misunderstands or misinterprets something you have said or done.


Somebody may abuse a young person by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Young people may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.

The effects of abuse can be extremely damaging and if untreated, they may follow a person into adulthood. For example, a person who has been abused as a child may find it difficult or impossible to maintain stable, trusting relationships, become involved with drugs or prostitution or attempt suicide.

Indicators of Abuse

Indications that a young person may be being abused include 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 the explanation seems inconsistent;
  • the young person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him/her;
  • someone else (a young person or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of another;
  • unexplained changes in behaviour (e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper);
  • inappropriate sexual awareness;
  • engaging in sexually explicit behaviour;
  • distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected;
  • has difficulty in making friends;
  • is prevented from socialising with other young people;
  • displays variations in eating patterns including overeating or loss of appetite;
  • sudden weight change;
  • becomes increasingly dirty or unkempt.

It should be recognised that this list is not exhaustive and the presence of one or more of the indicators is not proof that abuse is actually taking place. A good working relationship with parent/guardians will help to identify any concerns that a young person may be experiencing, e.g. family bereavement which could cause some of the changes listed above.

Remember it is not the responsibility of those working in basketball to decide if child abuse is occurring but it is their responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting them.

Additional Vulnerabilities

Deaf or disabled children have the same rights to protection as any child but they could be more vulnerable to abuse because they may be dependent on others for practical assistance and intimate care as well as have impaired capacity to resist, avoid, understand or report abuse.

Although the great majority of carers have the child's best interests at heart, some will use their vulnerability as an opportunity to abuse. Sometimes it may be difficult to tell that a disabled child is being abused as people might think a child is behaving differently because of his or her disability - not realising that they are being abused.

Reporting procedures

Two procedures are explained in this policy, one for reporting concerns in basketball and another for concerns outside of basketball. If unsure which applies, please contact a helpline or Basketball England for advice.

How to respond to a disclosure from a child

If you witness or become concerned about someone’s behaviour, or someone tells you they or another person is being or has been abused you should:

  • react calmly so as not to frighten or deter the disclosure;
  • listen carefully and take what they say seriously;
  • keep any questions to the absolute minimum and for clarification only;
  • tell them they are not to blame and that they are right to tell;
  • reassure them and explain you have to share what they have said;
  • It is not for you to decide if abuse has taken place but to report the concerns;
  • Make a record of everything said and any actions taken as soon as possible;
  • If you think the situation is an emergency, contact your Club Welfare Officer or Basketball England’s Lead

Child Protection Officer. If they are not immediately available then you should contact your local

Children’s Social Care, LADO or Police without delay. Expert advice can also be provided by the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Actions to avoid

The person receiving the disclosure should not:

  • panic or allow their shock to show;
  • ask questions other than to clarify that you have enough information to act;
  • speculate or make assumptions;
  • make promises or agree to keep secrets;
  • make negative comments about the alleged abuser;
  • approach the alleged abuser;
  • discuss the allegations with anyone who does not have a need to know;
  • take sole responsibility;
  • delay in reporting the concerns.

It should be noted that not all young players are able to express themselves verbally. Communication difficulties may mean that it is hard for them to explain or be understood. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the signs of abuse from the symptoms of some disabilities or conditions, in relation to the nature of an individual’s impairment. However, the welfare of the child is paramount and where there are concerns about the safety of a young player, record what has been observed in detail and follow the procedures to report these concerns.

Records and Information

Information passed to the Children’s Social Care or the Police must be as helpful and comprehensive as possible, hence the necessity for making a detailed record at the time of the disclosure/concern. Ideally this information should be compiled utilising the Incident Referral Form.

Information which may be required at the referral stage: Young person

  • Name/age/gender/disabilities/ethnicity/address/details of parents/agencies already working with the family/relationship between them and accused.


  • Name/age/gender/address/position in sport and occupation etc;
  • Any other allegations/previous incidents.

Primary evidence

  • Facts from the person making the allegation including dates/times/venue/witness details;
  • Records with dates, including any documents such as emails;
  • Has anyone else been informed or is anyone else already involved in the investigation.

Reporting the matter to the Police or Children’s Social Care department should not be delayed by attempts to obtain more information. Wherever possible, referrals telephoned to Children’s Social Care should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours. A record should also be made of the name and designation of the Children’s Social Care member of staff or Police officer to whom the concerns were passed, together with the time and date of the call, in case any follow up is needed.

A copy of this information should also be sent directly to the Basketball England Safeguarding Manager and a copy should be retainedby the Club Welfare Officer and stored in a secure place.


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained with information shared on a ‘need to know basis’ only. This includes but is not limited to the following people:

  • the Club Welfare Officer;
  • the parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused (only following advice from Children’s

Social Care);

  • Children’s Social Care/Police;
  • the Basketball England Lead Child Protection Officer and members of the Basketball England Case

Management Group (CMG);

  • the alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a young person) only following advice from

Children’s Social Care.

  • Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws(e.g. that information is accurate, relevant and secure).


It is acknowledged that the suggestion that a child has/is being abused can evoke strong emotions. It can be very difficult to hear suspicions or allegations but it is important that concerns are acted on. There are different procedures set out for reporting concerns about behaviour within basketball and another for concerns outside of basketball.

It is not for you to decide if abuse has taken place but to report the concerns. It is helpful if an incident referral form is completed as this sets out the sort of information which is useful. You should be careful to report as much detail as possible but avoid hearsay or assumptions. The alleged perpetrator will need to be informed of the specific allegation to give them the opportunity to respond.

The Basketball England Case Management Group (CMG) involved will decide if it is appropriate and/or possible to protect the identity of the complainant, although it should be noted that in some cases this may be apparent or necessary. If a complainant is particularly concerned about their name being disclosed this should be discussed when making the referral. Where possible, those who have provided information will be informed about the progress and conclusion of the investigation.


If a case is judged to be potentially serious poor practice or abuse, the CMG may decide to take the neutral act of temporarily suspending the individual pending further investigations. Following a Children’s Social Care or Police investigation, Basketball England will assess the available information to decide whether the individual can be reinstated to their role in basketball. This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence for the Police to act or obtain a conviction. In such cases, the CMG or Disciplinary Panel must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability; it is more likely than not that the person poses a risk. The CMG may decide that an individual should undertake certain actions such as further training or completing a new DBS disclosure, with failure to comply resulting in suspension.


The appeals procedure is available to anyone under investigation as part of natural justice. Anyone wishing to appeal against decisions by the Basketball England Case Management Group or Disciplinary Panel must do so in writing, to be received by Basketball England within the specified period (usually 14 days unless stated differently) of the original decision being made.

Monitoring and Evaluation

To be conducted at the close of the case to see if changes need to be made to policies/ procedures or lessons can be learnt. All involved in a case are able to offer feedback so procedures can be continually improved.

Support to Deal with the Aftermath

Consideration should be given about what support may be appropriate to young people and others effected such as parents and members of staff. Use of helplines, support groups and meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process. Thought should be given about what support may be appropriate to the alleged perpetrator of the abuse. See the list of essential contacts for expert organisations.

What to do if you are worried about the behaviour of anyone in basketball Concerns identified Whistleblower Identifies a concern.

If the young person or vulnerable adult requires immediate medical attention call an ambulance and inform the doctor there is a child protection concern.

Report incident / concerns to the Club Welfare Officer (CWO) or the relevant designated person whowill:

  • Complete the Basketball England incident referral form
  • Report to the Basketball England Safeguarding Manager/ HGRC With urgent/serious concerns - refer immediately to Children’s Social Care / Police if CWO or Basketball England Safeguarding Manager is not available.

Basketball England Lead Child Protection Officer/HGRC conducts initial assessment on ifimmediate statutory services referral is

Basketball England Lead Child Protection Officer/Compliance Manager decides on ‘route’ case should take or is informed of statutory services referral.

No case to answer.

Alleged poor practice.

Alleged serious poor practice or possible abuse.

Basketball England Lead Child Protection Officer/HGRC will review and gather additional information as required. This may include conversations with police, outside agencies, the club CWO and anyone involved with the concern.

Poor practice outcomes include:

  • Referred to club / region with advice on process to be followed.
  • Sanctions as outlined below via CO or disciplinary panel.
  • Referral to another Basketball England department or another organisation.
  • More significant concerns emerge.
  • Complaint resolved with agreement between parties.
  • Referral to Case Management Group


Serious poor practice / child abuse:

  • Referral to the statutory services or LADO. Basketball England action dependent on statutory services investigation.
  • Information gathered from involved parties.
  • Case Management Group referral
  • Case Management Group to meet and to decide on appropriate action.

Possible Outcomes (not an exhaustive list):

  • No case to answer / no further action.
  • Disciplinary sanctions including but not limited to: warning as to future conduct
  • A fine, temporary/ permanent suspension.
  • Training / mentoring.
  • Conditions placed on continued involvement in basketball.
  • Information shared/referred to others.
  • Referral to the Independent

Safeguarding Authority.

  • Statutory services investigation/criminal

Action to take regarding allegations outside Basketball

If a young person informs you directly that he/she is being abused or describes abusive behaviour outside the basketball environment (i.e. at home or some other setting outside of basketball) OR through your own observations or through a third party you become aware of possible abuse outside the basketball environment you must REACT IMMEDIATELY.

  • ensure the safety of the young person - if they need immediate medical treatment, take them to hospital or call an ambulance, inform doctors of concerns and ensure they are aware it is a child protection issue;
  • if possible, contact the Club Welfare Officer or Basketball England Safeguarding Manager immediately who will follow the reporting procedures detailed below. If unavailable or cannot be contacted, to avoid delay the person that hasconcerns should follow the procedures.

Reporting Procedures

  • seek advice immediately from the local Children’s Social Care or LADO who will advise on the action to be taken, including advice on discussing with parents. Expert advice can also be provided by the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or Childline on 0800 1111;
  • make a full and factual record of events utilising the Incident Referral Form and forward a copy of the recorded information, as directed by the Children’s Social Care and/or Police, and also to the Basketball England Safeguarding Manager. If not already involved, contact the Club Welfare Officer as soon as possible.

What to do if you are worried that a child is being abused outside of the basketball environment (but concern is identified through the child’s involvement in basketball)

Concern identified that a young person may be being abused outside of basketball

If medical attention may be needed, take the person to hospital or call an ambulance and inform a doctor of your concerns immediately.

Report your concerns to your Club Welfare Officer or Basketball England’s Safeguarding Manager or HGRC if they are immediately available for them to contact Children’s

If neither your Club Welfare Officer or Basketball England’s Safeguarding Manager /HGRC  are immediately available, contact Children’s Social Care or the Police to avoid delay.

Make a record of anything the young person has said and/or what has been observed, if possible with dates and times.

Discuss with Children’s Social Care / the Police whether it is appropriate to discuss the matter with theperson’s parents.

If the Club Welfare Officer or Basketball England’s Safeguarding Manager/ HGRC are not already aware, inform them of your actions. 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.

Complete a report form and send it to Children’s Social Care / Police within 48 hours. Send a copy to Basketball England’s Safeguarding Manager/ HGRC

Roles, Responsibilities and Definitions

It is never easy to respond to a child who tells you that they are being abused and you may feel upset and worried yourself.

Where serious concerns exist over an individual’s contact with children or a Police investigation is being conducted, ‘Strategy meetings’ may be held. Membership of this might include the Police, Children’s Social Care, a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), health workers and the person’s employers. If the allegations of abuse involve basketball or someone who could havecontact with young people through basketball, it is possible that Basketball England would be invited to attend.


The Club Welfare Officer is the person appointed at club level and provides the essential point of contact for welfare within the club. A Club Welfare Officer should be selected for their skills and knowledge, such as being

able to handle matters of a safeguarding nature in an appropriate and confidential manner. They should be approachable for any concerns regarding safeguarding to be reported and be appropriately supported by other members of the club.

Along with the club committee, the Club Welfare Officer should ensure that the club is adopting and implementing safeguarding. Clubs are advised to ideally have two Club Welfare Officers, with at least one not holding a coaching position or being related to a coach at the club.

Basketball England Safeguarding Manager/ HGRC

Every sports organisation should designate a person to promote the welfare of children within the sport. The role includes managing the DBS (DBS) process, co-ordinating the dissemination of relevant policy, procedures & resources as well as supporting Club Welfare Officers in their roles. The LCPO/CO also provides support for the Case Management Group as well as managing cases of poor practice/abuse within the sport. This includes being the central point of contact for enquiries such as from the complainants, LADO, Children’s Social Care and the Police.

Basketball England Case Management Group

The purpose of the Case Management Group is to ensure decisions relating to safeguarding children are reached following a fair, open and transparent process. The group comprises a minimum of three people, with the exact membership determined by the nature of the case and availability of members. The group may call upon whatever professional input they feel is required.

Statutory Agencies

Children’s Social Care (previously known as the Social Services) have a duty to ensure the welfare of children and a legal responsibility to make enquiries where a child in their area is considered to be at risk of, or actually suffering from, significant harm. Where an allegation relates to a crime against a child, the Police and Children’s Social Care will work together to investigate. Usually the LADO is involved throughout to ensure information is shared with those who need to know.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The LADO works within Children’s Services and will be involved in coordinating information sharing in cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children (including as a volunteer) has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.

Ideally their contact details should be recorded within the clubs child protection policy and procedures to ensure they are accessible to all club members if needed. Where someone has concerns relating to anyone who holds a position of trust or responsibility with young people, these should be discussed with the LADO.

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB)

Every local authority has a LSCB which is designed to ensure all agencies involved in safeguarding children work together effectively.They provide local inter-agency guidelines for the procedures that should be followed in cases of actual or suspected child abuse. The roles and responsibilities of LSCBs and the agencies that are represented on them are set out in the government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010).

Allegations of Previous Abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a young person but felt unable to say anything at the time). Where such an allegation is made, the club must follow the reporting procedures because other children, either within or outside sport, may still be at risk from the alleged perpetrator.

Basketball in Schools

When delivering activities in a school or directly under the supervision/management of school staff, the school’s arrangements for child protection will apply. You must inform the designated teacher or person for that school, who will follow the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures. You should also ensure that you inform your Club Welfare Officer who will need to make the Basketball England Lead Child Protection Officer/Compliance Manager aware of the situation.

The subject of allegations outside basketball

If a person with a role in basketball is the subject of relevant allegations outside of the basketball environment, for example through their job as a teacher, Basketball England may still be informed by the statutory services even if the allegations do not directly involve basketball. This is to ensure that the welfare of young people remains the paramount concern. An individual may be suspended fromtheir role in basketball whilst the investigation is conducted – this should be seen as a neutral act to protect all involved.

Useful Definitions

Child: refers to anyone under 18 years of age.

Vulnerable Adult: this is difficult to define briefly but a person over 18 years of age who because of mental or other disability, age or illness; may be unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

Staff: any person acting in an official role for a club/organisation whether this is paid or voluntary.

Child Abuse: Child abuse is any form of mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm of a person under 18 years of age.Abuse can happen to a child regardless of their age, gender, race or ability. Abusers can be adults (male or female) and other young people, and are usually known to and trusted by the child and family. There are four main types of child abuse: physical, sexual,emotional and neglect.

The definitions below are adapted from Department of Health (1999) Working Together to Safeguard Children - A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Neglect - where adults fail to meet a young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the young person’s health or development (e.g. failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.) It may also include refusal to give young people love, affection and attention. Neglect in sport could include a teacher or coach not ensuring young people weresafe, exposing them to undue cold, heat or to unnecessary risk of injury.

Physical Abuse - where adults physically hurt or injure young people for example by hitting. Examples of physical abuse in basketball may be when the nature and intensity of training and competition exceeds the capacity of the young person’s immature and growing body or where drugs are used to enhance performance.

Sexual Abuse - where young people are used by adults (both male and female) to meet their own sexual needs. Showing young people pornographic material (books, videos, pictures) or talking to young people in a sexually explicit manner is also a form of sexual abuse. In sport, coaching techniques, which involve physical contact could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. The power of the coach over young performers, if misused, may also lead toabusive situations developing.

Emotional Abuse - is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a young person such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development. It may involve conveying that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposedon young people. It may involve causing young people to feel frightened or in danger by being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted which may make the young person very nervous and withdrawn. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a young person. Emotional abuse in basketball may occur if young people are subjected to constant criticism, name-calling, and sarcasm, bullying or unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectations consistently.

The definitions below are adapted from Department of Health (2000) No Secrets – Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse.

In respect of disabled young people, a consensus has emerged identifying the additional forms of abuse that could occur:

Psychological Abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Financial or Material Abuse – including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Neglect and Acts of Omission – including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Discriminatory Abuse - including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability or other protected personal characteristic as defined in the Equality Act 2010, as well as other forms of harassment, slurs or similar unfair treatment.

Essential Contacts

Organisation Contact details Website
Basketball England 0114 2841060
Childline 0800 1111
NSPCC 0808 800 5000
CPSU 0116 234 7278
Local contacts – complete for your club/area
Club Welfare Officer

In emergency dial 999.

Children’s Social Care
Scroll to Top