Child Protection

At the WCF General Meeting held at Cheltenham on 9th August 2005, the WCF Members voted to accept a proposal that WCF adopt a Child Protection Policy that would require all WCF Members to have in place, Child Protection Procedures no later than 31st December 2006.

The policy was unanimously adopted and is reflected in WCF Rules 102.1.1.7, 102.1.2.5 and 102.3.1.2. as below:-

"The Association must be able to demonstrate that it fully supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by incorporating within its own Rules of Association, written child protection procedures commensurate with their National State laws relating to the Convention".

Many WCF members already have such procedures in place, but many others do not, particularly those that will aspire to full membership in due course.

As part of the programme of WCF support for its members, a WCF Child Protection Policy Guidance document and ancillary forms have now been prepared and are available for download from the WCF web site above. It consists of a requirement to appoint a person to be responsible for the Association Child Protection Procedures and guidance to members on what they should incorporate within their own child protection procedures and how to deal with certain situations as they arise.

The WCF Guidance reflects the fact that WCF membership covers nations that may have a different cultural and ethical approach. Therefore individual WCF Members should select the most appropriate parts that are compatible to their own jurisdictions.

However, the policy they adopt or have adopted, should always reflect the requirement of:-

  • 1.1 The welfare of the child is paramount;
  • 1.2 All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse;
  • 1.3 All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
  • 1.4 All staff (paid/unpaid) working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

Nominating Children for WCF Championships

All member associations are reminded of the requirements of child protection for ALL WCF Championships and particularly the one cited above.

A child is any person under the age of 18 years. (United Nations: Convention on the Rights of the Child)

For WCF purposes it is interpreted that they are a child if they are under the age of 18 years on the first date of competition.

When nominating players for entry to ANY WCF event, the relevant member association must have regard to the age of the players they are nominating. Where it is apparent that a child is being nominated they must take all steps to prevent harm and ensure their continuing safety from home, back to home.

Whilst WCF and any host association will take all reasonable steps to mitigate any perceived risk to children, neither are in a position to guarantee the overall safety of a child or assume responsibility for them whilst they are attending a WCF event. This is particularly relevant to those periods where a child player is not actively participating.

Whenever a child is nominated by a member association, such nomination MUST be accompanied by:-

  • WCFCP Form 1 Under Age Release;
  • WCFCP Form 2 Child Protection Medical Information.

Both of these forms require the signature of the child’s parent / guardian.

The Under age release form also requires the signature of a responsible person on behalf of the nominating member association.

Only upon receipt of those forms and the nomination will the entry for the child be accepted.

Member Associations should satisfy themselves, in dialogue with their own Child Protection Officer that the child they have nominated is of sufficient age and understanding that they look after themselves or, that they have put in place sufficient safeguarding arrangements to ensure the child’s safety is protected from home back to home.

They should bear in mind that many carriers and local jurisdictions actively prevent children from travelling alone.

Supervision of a child, from home back to home, may be undertaken by any person over the age of 18 years, such as:-

  • a designated member of the nominating member association accompanying the child acting as a Team Supervisor;
  • a parent / guardian of another child attending the event who is designated as a supervisor and who is conversant with their protective role;
  • another player who is designated as a supervisor and who is conversant with their protective role.