The ECB’s Child Protection policy, “Safe Hands – Welfare of Young People in Cricket”, is available from the Play-Cricket web site, www.play-cricket.com (go to ECB Info and then Child Welfare and Protection). “Young people” refers to those aged under 18.
The policy provides Cricket with ‘best practice’ guidelines in relation to Child Welfare and Protection. The ECB wholeheartedly supports Child Welfare and Protection, in line with other Sports Governing Bodies, and asks that Clubs, Leagues and County Boards commit to ensuring that cricket provides a safe, friendly and fun environment for children and vulnerable young adults. The aim is also to protect the interests of adults working with young players.
The principles within the policy must be followed, but it is important that common sense is used in applying them. The ‘Safe Hands’ document provides guidance and information which should be adapted to the facilities and circumstances of Clubs
Current ECB recommendations on Child Protection are as follows:
1. All County Boards, Leagues, District Associations and Clubs should adopt the ECB “Safe Hands – Welfare of Young People in Cricket” Policy or its successors. This should be confirmed in the appropriate Constitution.
2. All Clubs (not just those with Junior Sections) should appoint a Club Welfare Officer who needs to have a current Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) clearance (formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check) through the ECB. Clearances through other sports or teaching, for example, are at present not valid for cricket. CWOs also need to attend two three-hour courses “Safe Hands Workshop for Club Welfare Officers” (formerly Time to Listen) and “Safeguarding & Protecting Children”. This is relevant to all clubs, even those who do not have an organised Junior Section; because they are likely to have players aged Under 18 in their team and will surely play against Junior’s from other Clubs.
3. All Coaches, Junior Team Managers and other volunteers having regular and/or unsupervised access to children within the Club, as well as regular Umpires and Scorers, should also be DBS-cleared.
DBS checks need to be renewed every three years and are free for volunteers. The DBS definition of a volunteer is “a person engaged in an activity which involves spending time unpaid (except for travelling and approved out of-pocket expenses) doing something which aims to benefit a third party other than or in addition to a close relative”. DBS application forms can be obtained from TMG, the company managing the process on behalf of the ECB – [email protected] or 0845 251 5000.
If you are receiving money from your role in cricket you are not a volunteer, and the fee for a CRB check is £44.
4. More information is available from the Hampshire Cricket Board Administrator,
Colin Savage – 02380 475609 or [email protected] and from the HCB website, www.hampshirecb.com).
5. Foreign Nationals who are coaching young players in clubs here should have the equivalent of a DBS check from the police authorities in their own country.
6. In the event of a possible problem or incident, clubs should contact the County Welfare Officer, Helen Wheeler – 02380 449203, 07999 567866, or [email protected]