Club Children’s Officer & Designated Liaison Person

All clubs must appoint a Club Children’s Officer and a Designated Liaison Person. Role descriptions of CCO and DLP can be found below. If there is difficulty identifying two separate individuals to take up these roles, the Children’s Officer can be appointed as Designated Liaison person once the club/organisation is clear about the responsibilities of each role, however best practice advises that they are kept as separate roles.

Upon appointment, the appropriate training must be completed.

Role Descriptions

Club Children’s Officer Role

The appointment of Club Children’s Officers in golf clubs is an essential element in the creation of a quality atmosphere. They act as a resource with regard to children’s issues.

In summary Children’s Officers should review current policies in relation to young people, check that all activities are safe and fun, and inform adults of how to deal with any concerns that may arise in relation to the protection of children and young people.

Club Children’s Officers should be child centred in focus and have as the primary aim the establishment of a child centred ethos within the golf club. S/he is the link between the children and the adults in the club. S/he also takes responsibility for monitoring and reporting to the Club Management Committee on how club policy impacts on young people and Golf Leaders.

The Children’s Officer should be a member of or have access to, the Club Management Committee and should be introduced to the young people in an appropriate forum.

The role of the Club Children’s Officer should be:

To promote awareness of safeguarding guidelines within the golf club, among young members and their parents/guardians. This could be achieved by:- the distribution of information leaflets, the establishment of a junior specific notice board, regular information meetings for the young people and their parents/guardians

  • To influence policy and practice within the golf club in order to prioritise children’s needs
  • Establish contact with the National Children’s Officer in Golf Ireland.
  • To ensure that children know how to make concerns known to appropriate adults or agencies.
  • To encourage the appropriate involvement of parents/ guardians in the club activities
  • To act as an advisory resource to Golf Leaders on best practice in junior golf
  • To report regularly to the Club Management Committee.
  • To monitor changes in membership and follow up any unusual dropout, absenteeism or club transfers by children or Golf Leaders
  • To ensure that the children have a voice in the running of their golf club and ensure that there are steps young people can take to express concerns about their golf activities/ experiences.
  • Establish communication with other branches of the club, e.g. facilitate parent’s information sessions at the start of the season
  • Keep records on each member on file, including junior members, their contact numbers and any special needs of the child that should be known to leaders
  • Ensure each member signs an annual membership form that includes signing up to the code of conduct for golf leaders and children and young people.
  • The CCO should undertake the necessary training i.e. Safeguarding 1 & 2
  • Ensure that the club rules and regulations include:
    1. -Complaints, disciplinary and appeals procedures.
    2. -An anti-bullying policy.
    3. -Safety statement.
    4. -Rules in relation to traveling with children.
    5. -Supervision and recruitment of leaders.

Designated Liaison Persons Role

Each Golf Club must appoint a Designated Liaison Person (DLP). This person may or may not also fulfil the role of Children’s Officer, however, best practice advises that they are kept as separate roles.  It is recommended that this person is a senior club person. The DLP is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to Tusla/Gateway or An Garda Síochána/ PSNI.

  • The DLP is a resource for volunteers/coaches and should ensure that the golf clubs reporting procedures are followed. The DLP reports any suspected cases of child neglect or abuse to the Duty Social Worker in Child and Family Agency/Túsla or An Garda Síochána/ Gateway team or PSNI.
  • The DLP should also inform the National Children’s Officer in Golf Ireland that a report has been submitted without identifying details
  • The DLP should be knowledgeable about child protection and undertake any training considered necessary i.e. Safeguarding 1 & 3
  • The DLP should familiarise themselves with the statutory and support services within their locality
  • Have knowledge of the Safeguarding Code and relevant child protection legislation (Children First Act 2015 (ROI)/National Vetting Bureau Act 2012-2016 (ROI) and Cooperating to Safeguard Children and Young People in Northern Ireland 2017.

Children’s Officers/Designated Persons do not have the responsibility of investigating or validating child protection concerns within the golf club and have no counselling or therapeutic role. These roles are filled by the Statutory Authorities. It is, however, possible that child protection concerns will be brought to the attention of the Children’s Officer/Designated Liaison Person. In this event, it is essential that the correct procedure is followed.