What’s Occurring in Wales? An Update From Our Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager for Wales

Sport Wales National Centre

Helo i gyd, diolch am stopio i ddarllen fy diweddariad blog!

That means: Hello all, thanks for stopping by to read my blog update!

Click here to read this blog in Welsh.

I have been in post for a few months now. I feel I’m making some great progress with raising awareness around our duty of care to Adults at Risk in Welsh Sport.

Starting my new role has been a steep learning curve, particularly as the role didn’t exist in Wales prior to my arrival! To some extent it’s been daunting. But really, I have a blank slate to design an Adults at Risk service provision for Welsh sport. This is a wonderful and exciting opportunity.

The Sport Wales Safeguarding Hub

I am based in the Sport Wales National Centre. I share an office and a phone with Laura Whapham and Cerri Dando of the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU).

Laura, Cerri and I believe that we should act as the ‘Sport Wales Safeguarding Hub’. We want to help all of the National Governing Bodies of Welsh Sport with any safeguarding enquiry relating to children or adults.

When it comes to Adults at Risk, this is starting to bear fruit. We’ve had a number of calls and emails enquiring about specific case management issues, and I’ve been happy to provide help and support.

Welsh Strategic Sport Safeguarding Group

I now have a seat at the Welsh Strategic Sport Safeguarding Group. This group contains senior safeguarding leads from sports and other bodies, including Welsh Government and academia. They all have specific knowledge and expertise in the safeguarding field.

There are four clear workstreams within the group: Training, Relationships, Elite Sport and, crucially, Adults at Risk. There has only been one meeting since my arrival, but there is clearly a genuine opportunity to make a difference here.

It’s important for all Welsh Sport NGBs to have clear Adults at Risk Policies designed for their areas. The Ann Craft Trust strongly recommends that these policies are separate from child safeguarding polices as they are very different areas of business. I have been working with a number of NGBs to develop their bespoke policies and procedures.

Law and Legislation

As ever, legislation is really important, with policies framed around the laws of the land.

In England, The Care Act 2014 provides the safeguarding framework for Adults at Risk. England also has the Working Together document, and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. The latter offers statutory guidance setting out what organisations and agencies, including sport organisations, that have functions relating to children must do to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and young people under the age of 18 in England.

In Wales we are governed by The Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014. So new policies and procedures for Welsh NGBs need to be framed around our local legislation.

The Ann Craft Trust has a template on our website that you can download and adapt to your structures. We are in the process of creating a new home nations template to ensure it incorporates all UK legislation, taking into account the laws within all of the home nations. You’ll be able to find the template here.

I don’t expect Sport NGBs to be experts on legislation, but please use the templates and create your own policies. If you need any support or guidance, then contact me at the ‘Sport Wales Safeguarding Hub’ on 02920 334 975. My mobile is 07731 624 598, and my email is ieuan.watkins@nottingham.ac.uk.

Safeguarding Training in Wales

Finally, Laura, Cerri and I have created a series of learning and training events for 2019 through to 2020. We will look to jointly deliver where possible. As always, book early to avoid disappointment!

Two events already planned are specific to safeguarding adults in sport. You can find details and book on to these below:

Safeguarding Adults at Risk Training for Sport in Wales – April 2019.

Safeguarding Adults at Risk Training for Sport in Wales – September 2019.