THE PROMOTION OF WELFARE AND CARE OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS IN MODEL FLYING POLICY, PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES
Please read the letter from the BMFA Chairman, Robin Gowler FSMAE, which summarises the requirements of the child protection policy, and what the BMFA is doing to support clubs implementing it.
The British Model Flying Association believes that the care and welfare of children is everyone's responsibility, particularly when it concerns protection from abuse. Not only does it protect the children but by providing a safe environment we will be encouraging youngsters to participate in model flying. The Children Act 1989 indicates that anyone who has the care of children should "do what is reasonable in all circumstances for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child's welfare ." Everyone has a part to play whether they be a full time employee, elected officer, club officer, instructor or a member of the BMFA. However, the parents, guardians, carers, friends and those for whom we are caring also have a vital part to play.
Similar principles also apply to those working with vulnerable adults at club level although the legislation and national infrastructure concerning the protection of vulnerable adults is different from that for the protection of children. Therefore, in principle, clubs should follow the same guidelines if they work with or have vulnerable adults as members.
Abuse can occur anywhere where there are children: at home, in school, in the park, at the club site or clubroom. Sadly, there is a small minority who will seek to be with children simply to obtain gratification from abuse. Similarly, abuse can occur simply because those involved lack the knowledge to prevent the situation arising. Do not assume that the only area of concern relates to paedophiles and sexual abuse. The most serious cases of abuse encountered within the BMFA have almost all related to neglect of the junior members (for example junior members being abandoned alone on the flying site or sustaining injuries due to lack of supervision)
The following simple principles apply to promote the protection of children
The child's welfare is the first consideration.
All children regardless of their age, gender, disability, race, religion or sexual identity have the right to be protected from abuse and to be treated with dignity.
All those working with children should have the knowledge and awareness to permit them to make informed decisions to prevent placing themselves or children at risk.
Implementation of these policies and guidelines is not something of which to be afraid and should not prevent the continuing integration of children into the BMFA and its clubs. Protecting children from abuse and promoting their welfare is largely a matter of common sense and a little thought at the outset can prevent misunderstanding and inappropriate accusations.
Therefore, all BMFA clubs that are involved with children or vulnerable adults are strongly encouraged to adopt this policy, and the associated guidelines, to ensure they are following good practice and their legal obligations to protect both children and those working with them. BMFA full and part-time employees must comply with this policy. However, we would expect that all volunteers with a responsibility for the care, supervision or training of juniors will also comply with this policy
The BMFA is committed to supporting its clubs and members in all aspects of model flying. Clubs and members should remember that the BMFA will support anyone who reports his or her concerns that a child is, or maybe, at risk of abuse. All such reports would be treated in the strictest confidence. However the information may need to be used where legal action is taken.
Further advice on any aspect of this policy can be obtained from the Chief Executive or the Development Officer at BMFA Headquarters.