Good Practice Guide

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE for working with Young People

Handout for Instructors, Coaches and Volunteers 

This guide only covers the essential points of good practice when working with young people.  You should also read the organisation’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures which are available for reference at all times.

Avoid spending any significant time working with young people in isolation 

      • Do not take young people alone in a car, however short the journey.
      • Do not take young people to your home as part of your organisation’s activity.
      • Where any of these are unavoidable, ensure that they only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge of the organisation or the young person’s parents.
      • Design training programmes that are within the ability of the individual young person.
      • If a young person is having difficulty with a wetsuit or buoyancy aid, ask them to ask a friend to help if at all possible
      • If you do have to help a young person, make sure you are in full view of others, preferably another adult.

You should never:

          • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games,
          • allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form,
          • allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged, or use such language yourself when with young people
          • make sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun
          • fail to respond to an allegation made by a young person; always act
          • do things of a personal nature that young people can do for themselves.

It may sometimes be necessary to do things of a personal nature for young people, particularly if they are very young or disabled.  These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the young person (where possible) and their parents/carers.  In an emergency situation which requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed.  In such situations it is important to ensure that any adult present is sensitive to the young person and undertakes personal care tasks with the utmost discretion.