Keeping children and young people safe
Clubs & Activities for Children & Young People
There are many clubs and organised activities for children, but as a parent you will want to know that any activity your child is involved with is safe.
It is important for you as a parent to feel happy and confident about the arrangements you make for your child.
To find out what is available in your area, talk to other parents who have children of the same age as your child or a little older – and talk to the children themselves.
Your first choice may be made by your child showing an interest in a particular activity or saying that he or she wants to join a particular group – perhaps he or she has a friend who is already a member. If possible, talk to the parents of children who are already involved. Are they happy about the organisation? Are the children happy about the activities?
If the activities are held on school premises, ask whether they are run by school staff and whether they are sponsored by the school. If the activities are held on council premises, church premises, etc. ask who organises them.
If possible, go and watch the group in action
- Do the activities seem to be suitable for the children taking part?
- Do you think the activities would be suitable for your child?
- Does the group seem well organised?
- Do there seem to be enough adults present for the number of children?
- Do the premises and equipment look safe?
- Do the activities seem to be carried out safely?
- Do the children seem to be enjoying themselves?
If you and your child are still interested, ask about these points
- How are the organisers recruited?
- How are they trained and what experience do they have?
- Do they have any qualifications?
- Are any checks carried out to make sure that they are suitable people to work with children?
- Is the group insured?
- Are there any rules that staff and helpers have to follow?
Now talk to your child - are you both happy about this group? Listen carefully to your child
If your child joins a club or group, it is important to keep listening to what he or she has to say about it. If he or she becomes less willing to attend, listen carefully to what he or she is saying. Of course children do outgrow particular activities and lose interest in particular groups, but there may also be something else that your child is not happy about.
A child who has vague concerns may feel silly talking about them. Listen carefully and take what he or she says seriously. Are you still happy about the organisation, the activities and the organisers?
Remember that the final decision always lies with you as a parent. No guidance can guarantee your child's total safety from all dangers.
Picking the right activities for your child is all about listening
- Listen to your child:
What does he or she want to do?
- Listen to other children:
What do they say about local clubs and activities?
- Listen to other parents:
Do they think that local clubs and activities for children are well organised?
- Listen to your own feelings:
You often know when something is not right for your child even if you can't quite put your finger on why.
- Listen to your child:
If something is beginning to go wrong, he or she may notice it before you do.
If you have a concern about a particular club or activity please contact 0121 464 2612.