If you are a young person and are worried about anything, read our factsheet Is Rugby Fun for You on our Young People Page to find out who you can talk to.
Should an Age-Grade Player be at risk of harm, it is the duty of those in a position of responsibility to take the necessary steps to minimise and/or help to remove the risk and to ensure that all procedures are undergone in accordance with statutory guidelines.
If you believe a child is at risk the concern should be brought to the attention of the Club Welfare Officer who will implement the IRFU Case Management Process. This will establish if the concern is likely to meet the threshold for reporting to Statutory Authorities or is a concern that may not be in line with IRFU’s safeguarding policy.
The online reporting tool will begin the IRFU Case Management Process. Ideally this should be completed by the Club Welfare Officer, but it is available to anyone who has a concern.
If you have a concern that needs immediate reporting to the Statutory Authorities you can make contact with duty social workers in your local area, www.tusla.ie/get-in-touch/duty-social-work-teams/ (Ireland) and (NI) or www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-protection-system/northern-ireland/reporting-your-concerns/
Adults working with young people are not expected to be experts in identifying abuse. However, to fulfil our duty to care it is necessary to know how to forward a concern that meets reasonable grounds for concern (see responding to a concern below) and how to respond to a child who raises a concern.
Categories of abuse (and how to respond to them) are outlined in Children First (ROI) and Cooperating to Safeguard Children (NI). Further details on this and Statutory guidelines are contained in the factsheet ‘Protecting Our Players’ (see below) or can be found at www.tusla.ie/children-first and http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/reporting-child-abuse-and-neglect.
Sometimes it may be necessary for a club to implement a disciplinary process in relation to safeguarding, details of this can be found in ‘Safeguarding Disciplinary Process’ guidance.