Responding & Reporting
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Sport Ireland

Child abuse grounds for concern

Individuals must have the confidence to respond appropriately if there are reasonable grounds for concern. Reasonable grounds* for concern exist when there is:

  • a specific indication from a child that s/he has been abused;
  • an account by a person who saw the child being abused;
  • evidence, such as an injury or behaviour which is consistent both with abuse and unlikely to be caused another way
  • an injury or behaviour which is consistent both with abuse and with an innocent explanation but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it may be a case of abuse. An example of this would be a pattern of injuries, an implausible explanation, other indications of abuse, dysfunctional behaviour;
  • consistent indication, over a period of time, that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect.

It is cultures of poor practice, which are not child centred and where concerns are not dealt with, which opens the door to possible abuse occurring. Under no circumstances should any individual be left with a worry or concern about a child and feel they are unable to discuss it with their club/organisations Designated Liaison Person (DLP). Any individual can contact the NSPCC or Tusla helpline at anytime to discuss any worry.

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Tusla ROI Helpline 1850 241 18506

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NSPCC | NI Helpline 0808 800 5000

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NSPCC | Text Helpline 88858

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NSPCC | [email protected]

*(adopted from the Area Child Protection Committee's Regional Policy and Procedure and Childrens First, Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, 2011)

**The term Designated Liasion Person is used as a generic all-ireland term to cover Safeguarding officer, welfare officer, child protection officer, children's officer etc, but is the person who will liaise with the statutory agencies in relation to a child protection concern. The majority of sports will have one person in this position at different levels but some will also have appointed an additional role of Children's Officer and it is for all sports to clarify individual staff/volunteer roles