The BEF (British Equestrian Federation) places the highest priority on safety and enjoyment, and recognises that it has a duty of care towards children, young people and Adults at Risk within the horse industry. Any organisation, establishment or individual providing riding or horse management opportunities must do so with the highest possible standard of care. To ensure this, the British Equestrian Federation and its Member Bodies are committed to devising and implementing policies and procedures to ensure all those involved accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse.
The Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) document states that effective safeguarding systems are those where:
The welfare of the child is paramount and the needs and wishes of each child should be put first, so that every child receives the support they need before a problem escalates;
All those who come into contact with children and families are alert to their needs and any risks of harm that individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children;
All those working with children and families share appropriate information in a timely way and can discuss any concerns about an individual child with colleagues and local authority children’s social care.
Effective safeguarding arrangements in every local area should be underpinned by two key principles:
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and
A child centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.
“Children want to be respected, their views to be heard, to have stable relationships with professionals built on trust and for consistent support provided for their needs. This should guide the behaviour of professionals. Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child; listen to what they say; take their views seriously; and work with them collaboratively when deciding how to support their needs.”
“Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children” HM Government, March 2015.
In order to support Member Bodies with safeguarding and child protection matters, the BEF coordinates a national development group, the Safeguarding and Equality Action Team (SEAT), to provide a forum, through full member body representation, to develop and share best practice for the purpose and benefit of safeguarding the equestrian industry.
It also facilitates the Federation wide Advisory and Case Management Group (ACMG) whose role is to:-
· Provide support, advice and consultation;
· Provide Case Management Support;
· Give guidance on best practice;
· Feed in to a Federation-wide strategic overview of safeguarding in partnership with SEAT.
· Contribute to the monitoring and review of both case management and Federation-wide safeguarding provision;
In addition, the BEF, works to ensure that all those involved in equestrianism, whether a young rider, driver, vaulter, parent, riding school or centre professional/volunteer, are aware of their responsibilities and what to do if they have a concern about the welfare of a child or young person.
If at any point you feel you would like to talk to the BEF regarding a safeguarding case please contact Ashlee McCarthy, Safeguarding Officer, Ashlee.McCarthy@bef.co.uk or call 02476698871.
If you want to talk to someone else you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk