Safeguarding Adults in Sport & Activity Seminar 2018 Summary

The third Safeguarding Adults in Sport and Activity Seminar was held on June 4th 2018.

‘Introducing the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Code’ brought together nearly 50 safeguarding professionals from within the sport and activity sector.

The day began with welcomes from the Chair, Annamarie Phelps, CBE. Annamarie is an Olympian and World Champion of rowing and currently the Vice Chair of the British Olympic Committee and the former Chairman of British Rowing and Vice Chair British Paralympic Association. A member of the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Steering Group since 2008, Annamarie is a keen supporter of safeguarding adults in the sport and activity sector and this commitment to safeguarding adults in sport was evident as she summed up the learning from the sessions.

25 Years of the Ann Craft Trust

Dr Deborah Kitson, ACT CEO, then presented on ‘25 Years of ACT’. It was fascinating to hear how ACT has developed alongside the changing climate of adult and child safeguarding legislation and policy. Ann Craft herself led some ground-breaking work, in particular around the right of people with learning disabilities to sex education, and this has been followed by innovative research, campaigning, education and information sharing on topics such as the forced marriage of people with learning disabilities, the financial abuse of people with learning disabilities, the safeguarding needs of disabled children and the grooming and exploitation of adults with learning disabilities. Deborah’s passion for safeguarding shone through and provided an inspiring start to the seminar.

The Ann Craft Trust in Sport Update

An ‘ACT in Sport update’ followed. The Safeguarding Adults in Sport Managers, Marc Scott and Nicola Dean, discussed some of the frequently asked questions around safeguarding adults in sport. They ranged from the difference between safeguarding children and adults, how the Mental Capacity Act links to safeguarding adults and where people can access support, training and advice about safeguarding adults. Nicola and Marc recognise that the sport and activity interest in adult safeguarding is growing and they receive a variety of requests for support, advice and training.

A group task followed. Delegates were asked to think about ‘What are you already doing to safeguarding adults in sport?’ This generated a great deal of discussion about some of the excellent practice that is occurring within the sector, from policy and procedures, to targeted work with adults with care and support needs, to training and staff development.

Safeguarding Adults in Sport: NGBs

‘Safeguarding Adults in Sport from an NGBs perspective’ followed the break. Emma Gibson is the Ethics and Compliance Manager for Badminton England, having been with the NGB for nearly 6 years. Her enthusiasm and passion for safeguarding adults in sport began in a previous working life, whilst a national dub development manager for the English Federation of Disability Sport (now called the Activity Alliance)
Emma recognised that while all sports organisations were focused on the safeguarding requirements for under 18s, there was, and still is, a significant gap in the safeguarding procedures, policies and guidance for adults who may have their own additional needs. The original gathering of likeminded individuals sharing this view goes back some years now and Emma is pleased to still be involved in the National Steering Group for Safeguarding Adults in Sport and hugely supportive of the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager role. She remains a keen advocate for inclusion and diversity and believes that the safeguarding adults agenda sits across both equality and diversity and safeguarding.

Safeguarding Adults in Sport : CSPs

We then heard about ‘Safeguarding Adults in Sport from a CSP perspective’. Jayne Wilson is the coach development manager for Active Lancashire and leads on all things workforce. Included under the workforce banner are volunteers, coaches, clubs and the professional workforce. As well as her workforce development role Jayne is also the safeguarding lead for Active Lancashire. This is a role she enjoys even though it has presented challenges, especially around working with adults.

Jayne described the projects that Active Lancashire have developed with adults, in particular adults with substance misuse issues and mental health issues. Jayne has revised the Policy and Procedures document, developed a safeguarding ‘z card’ for deliverers and participants and is a member of the Local Safeguarding Adults Board.

Quality Assurance & Standards

Next, Nick Slinn presented on Quality Assurance: Safeguarding Children in Sport. Nick is a Senior Consultant in England for the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) and his areas of responsibilities currently include: supporting sports governing bodies county sport partnerships in developing their safeguarding work; safeguarding disabled children; case management; and safer recruitment. Nick sits on the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Steering Group and provides the ACT team with advice on all aspects of developing the sport services.

After giving the background to the formation of the CPSU, Nick described the Safeguarding Standards in place for safeguarding children in sport. Key points of the standards process are that: they reflect statutory requirements/responsibilities; they use sports language and context; sports achieve a common safeguarding baseline; they are externally/independently assessed; and the standards are a funding criterion (Sport England and UK Sport).

Introducing the Code

Nick’s presentation led neatly to a session on ‘Introducing the Code’. This interactive session was introduced by Lisa Curtis, Safeguarding Adults at Risk Manager for ACT. In her ACT role Lisa delivers safeguarding adults at risk training to organisations across the UK to promote new initiatives and ideas in safeguarding and offers consultancy to organisations. In addition, Lisa provides expert safeguarding advice to the Safeguarding Adults in Sport Team and using her understanding of applying standards within health and social care, has worked with the ACT Team and the safeguarding adults in sport steering group to develop a safeguarding adults in sport framework for sport organisations. This framework or ‘code’ is endorsed by Sport England:

‘Sport England is pleased to be able to support the Ann Craft Trust for this important area of work as we want everyone who takes part in sport and physical activity to feel safe and know where to go to if they have a worry or concern. We welcome the introduction of this Code and thank everyone who has been involved in its development so far. Having such a framework in place for adults, allows organisations not only to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to safeguarding, but also as a way to identify specific challenges which may need further support. It will also allow organisations to promote good practice and challenge poor practice.’

Jayne Molyneux, Director Children and Young People – Sport England

The framework is designed to allow organisations to bench mark themselves against agreed standards of safeguarding adults. It is based on 6 themes: Safeguarding governance; Implementation of safeguarding responsibilities; Training; Recruiting; Codes of conduct; and case management.
This seminar provided the Ann Craft Trust the opportunity to review the work so far and see how it could be used. In groups delegates worked together to identify the evidence that they could look to provide for each theme. The feedback was positive, the themes were familiar and so delegates were able to consider how their organisation could use the framework. The suggestions will be used by Lisa to further develop the framework.

The next steps for the framework are to pilot it with organisations and develop an online platform for it. The aim is that it will go live in January 2019.

Safeguarding Adults: The Journey

After lunch and networking, Claire Bearder looked at ‘Safeguarding Adults: The Journey. Concern to Outcome’. Claire is the Group Manager for Access and Safeguarding, Nottinghamshire County Council. Responsible for strategic safeguarding work including the multi-agency safeguarding board, Claire also oversees the multi-agency safeguarding hub where all safeguarding referrals go, and the adult access service which is the first social care point that all queries into adult social care go. Claire is also the co-chair of the ACT board of trustees.
This session offered delegates the chance to think how to manage safeguarding adults concerns that they may encounter. Claire explained the concept of an ‘adult at risk’ and how it has replaced the term ‘vulnerable adults’ within the Care Act 2014 and went on to talk us through the process of making a referral to the local safeguarding adults team. The key is ensuring that the adult is at the centre of the process, this is ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’.

Supporting adult participants

The final session focused on supporting adult participants in sport. Hayley Jarvis is the lead for Sport and Physical Activity at Mind the mental health charity. For the last three year’s Hayley has led programmes at both ends of the performance pathway including: Get Set to Go a three year Sport England and National Lottery funded programme which supported people with mental health problems to become active in their local communities through peer support; Mind’s support to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, Duty of Care for elite sport and work with sports ambassadors and supporters; and Mind’s two year partnership with the English Football League for the 18/19 and 19/20 football seasons.

Hayley delivered a very interactive and thought-provoking session on Supporting adults with mental health problems to be active. We were offered the opportunity to work through case studies and really think through the support needs of people with mental health needs. Delegates appreciated the chance to share some of the issues that they have encountered and benefited from Hayley’s expert advice and tips on how to support people.

The chair’s closing comments reflected the learning from the day. The take away message was to really include adults throughout the safeguarding process – ‘Make Safeguarding Personal’.