Understanding Safeguarding
Safeguarding 1 Refresher title with Sport Ireland and Sport NI logos
Defining the Problem header image header image
Sport Ireland

Defining the Problem

Under the Child Care Act 1991 and the Children (NI) Order 1995 a child and young person is defined as a person under the age of 18.

In the Republic of Ireland the Child Protection Notification System (CPNS) is a TUSLA- Children and Family Service record of every child about who there are unresolved child protection issues, resulting in the child being the subject of a Child Protection Plan. In NI the Health and Social Care Trusts hold a Child Protection Register of children or young people at risk of abuse.

Children on the register are those that social services are concerned about being at risk of harm and their care will be monitored. It is the responsibility of statutory services to check and maintain the register when a child is referred to statutory services.

In general individuals are unlikely to join a sporting organisation with the intention to physically or emotionally abusing or neglecting a child, however, poor practices and breaches of the codes of behaviour, if allowed to continue, may lead to a child being at risk in extreme circumstances. A small minority of individuals will though actively seek to join junior sports clubs as helpers/volunteers with the intention of sexually harming children, just as they may also seek to gain access to young people through other voluntary organisations.

Abuse is recorded into different categories but the main forms of abuse that a child will experience are physical, emotional, neglect, sexual or exploitation.

Though sexual abuse often is the most common to be reported in the media children are most likely to be victims of neglect or physical abuse.

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What is Abuse?