1. Safeguarding Policy Statement
SH Footballl Club (“the Club”) recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people (defined as any person under the age of 18) involved in football which it organises or which it supervises and is committed to working to provide them with a safe environment. The Club subscribes to The Football Association’s Child Protection Best Practice Policy and Procedures, Safeguarding Children and Young People in Football and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document namely:-
“Every child or young person, defined as any person under the age of 18, who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and should be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in football. The FA recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. The FA is, therefore, committed to working to provide a safe environment for all children and young people to participate in the sport to the best of their abilities so long as they choose to do so”.
2. Key Principles
The key principles of this Safeguarding Children Policy and that of the FA are that:-
We acknowledge that every child or young person who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse. The Club recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in football organised or supervised by the Club.
The Club has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. It is noted and accepted that the Football Association regulations (set out in Appendix 2A hereto) apply to all persons involved in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This means whether you are a volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, coach, club official or medical staff.
The Club endorses and will apply the Football Association regulations and will treat any infraction of those regulations as misconduct which will be the subject of the disciplinary procedures set out in the League Rules in addition to any other procedures which may be undertaken by any other body or authority.
The Club also endorses and adopts the FA’s Safeguarding Children and Best Practice Guidelines for recruiting volunteers and will:-
If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached the Club to become one of its officials, guidance will be sought from the Football Association. It is noted and accepted that the FA will consider the relevance and significance of the information obtained via the FA CRB Unit and that all decisions will be made in the best interests of children and young people.
It is accepted that the FA aims to prevent people with a history of relevant and significant offending from having contact with children or young people and the opportunity to influence policies or practice with children or young people. This is to prevent direct sexual or physical harm to children and young people and to minimise the risk of “grooming” within football.
5. Whistle Blowing
The Club supports the FA’s whistle blowing policy. Any adult or young person with concerns about a adult in a position of trust with football can ‘whistle blow’ by contacting The FA Safeguarding Team on 0800 169 1863, by writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London SW1P 9EQ, by emailing Safeguarding@TheFA.com or alternatively by going direct to the Police, Children’s Social Care or the NSPCC.
The Club Club encourages everyone to know about The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy and to utilise it if necessary.
6. Club Welfare Officer
The Club has appointed a Club Welfare Officer in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion of the Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officers Workshop. The post holder will be involved with Welfare Officer training provided by The FA and/or County FA. The Club Welfare Officer is the first point of contact for all club members regarding concerns about the welfare of any child or young person. The Club Welfare Officer will liaise directly with the County FA (CFA) Welfare Officer and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. They will also play a proactive role in increasing awareness of Respect, poor practice and abuse amongst club members.
We acknowledge and endorse The FA’s identification of bullying as a category of abuse. Bullying of any kind is not acceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all players or parents/carers should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to the Club Welfare Officer in cases of serious bullying the CFA Welfare Officer may be contacted.
8. Codes of Conduct
Codes of Conduct for coaches, players, officials and parents/carers have been implemented by the Club and are contained in Appendix 2B. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct constitutes misconduct which may the subject of disciplinary sanction in accordance with the FA/league rules.
9. Reporting Concerns
Reporting your concerns about the welfare of a child or young person. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility if you are worried about a child it is important that you report your concerns – no action is not an option.
i. If you are worried about a child then you need to report your concerns to the Club Welfare Officer.
ii. If the issue is one of poor practice the Club Welfare Officer will either:
•deal with the matter themselves or
•seek advice from the CFA Welfare Officer
iii. If the concern is more serious – possible child abuse, where possible, contact the CFA Welfare Officer first, then immediately contact the Police or Children’s Social Care.
iv. If the child needs immediate medical treatment take them to a hospital or call an ambulance and tell them this is a child protection concern. Let your Club Welfare Officer know what action you have taken, they in turn will inform the CFA Welfare Officer.
v. If at any time you are not able to contact your Club Welfare Officer or the matter is clearly serious then you can either:
•contact your CFA Welfare Officer directly
•contact The FA Safeguarding Team on 0800 169 1863 or Safeguarding@TheFA.com
•contact the Police or Children’s Social Care
•call the NSPCC 24 hour Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or text 88858 or email email@example.com
10. Further Advice
Further advice on Safeguarding Children matters can be obtained from:-
SH Football Club is committed to creating and preserving the safest possible environment for children to play football.
It is the duty of all Club Members, Referees, Club Officials, Team Managers, Coaches, Parent Helpers and any other individuals directly or indirectly involved with the club to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual, or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying.
SH Football Club accepts children’s welfare is paramount and all children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender or religious belief, have the right to protection from abuse. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
The term child abuse is used to describe ways in which children or young people are harmed, usually by adults and often by those they know and trust. There are five main types of child abuse, though a child may experience more than one kind at any one time in his / her life.
It is the policy of SH Football Club to ensure that every child or young person who takes part in football should be able to participate in a fun and safe environment and be protected from neglect, and physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Key principles are:-
Possible Signs Include:
It must be recognised that the above list is not exhaustive, and the presence of one or more indicators is not proof that abuse is actually taking place.
All children or young people will suffer cuts, bruises and grazes from time to time and their behaviour may sometimes give cause for concern. There may well be reasons for these factors other than abuse. If, however you are concerned about the welfare of a child or young person YOU MUST ACT. Do not assume that someone else will.
The Role Of The Club Will Be:
The Role Of The Child Protection Officer In The Club Will Be:
Abuse May Become Apparent In A Number Of Ways:
If An Allegation Is Brought To Your Attention:
Step 2 – Record
Step 3 – Involve The Appropriate People
Once you have completed your report you must ensure that the Child Protection Officer in your club has been informed so a decision can be made as to the most appropriate action.
This person must forward the report to the relevant Child Protection Officer indicating whether further action is required. If you are unhappy with the Child Protection Officer’s handling of the incident or unhappy that the allegations are made specifically against a particular individual you should contact the person in charge immediately and make a record of this.
This person might be the Club Chairman, Committee member or the Team Manager. The person in charge shall then contact the Social Services and/or the Police immediately. A record of the name and designation of the official informed, together with the time and date of the call should be kept, in case future contact is required. Contact should also be made directly to the Child Protection Officer of the relevant body/association. In all cases do not delay.
If you cannot contact the persons above immediately, you must contact the authorities (Police and/or Social Services).
If you are unsure what to do, advice can be obtained from the F.A Child Protection Help line 0808 800 500 or from your local Social Services department.
Promoting Good Practice
By promoting good practice throughout the Club and in the wider context of football it is possible to reduce situations where abuse of children or young people can arise.
The Club should have a policy that ensures children or young people are protected and kept safe from harm, and everyone should know what to do if there are concerns about abuse and where the procedures are kept.
The appointment of a Child Protection Officer is key in this process and he/she will be encouraged to promote good practice throughout the Club by ensuring everyone is aware of their responsibilities. This role may include leading by example organising simple training briefings and the use of leaflets/posters and notices throughout the various areas used by the Club.
Use Of Photography And Video Recorders
There has been an increase in the misuse of sports photography and video recording within the sporting arena. To reduce the risk of abuse to children or young people, some Sports Centres require any person wishing to use cameras and video recorders to declare their interest by filling in a simple form which asks their name, address, who they are with, and the reason for the use of the camera/video recorder.
This is not intended to prevent bona fide use of this equipment for family or coaching purposes but may deter the inappropriate use of such material. Clubs, Event Promoters and Sport Centres are encouraged to adopt this practice.
There is a possibility that bullying may occur between children or young people and all involved in football are encouraged to be aware of this possibility. Clubs are encouraged to adopt an anti-bulling policy and ensure that everyone understands that bullying will not be tolerated in any form.
Clubs must be prepared to take the problem seriously and investigate any incident and decide on appropriate action, also ensuring that children or young people are able to report the instance of bullying (either to themselves or team members) to someone in authority, preferably the Child Protection Officer.
Team Management/Team Travel
Implicit within this policy is the duty of care that a Team Manager and/or Club has to its young footballers when travelling to events.
It is recommended that Clubs travel with a full address list and contact telephone numbers for all the children or young people within their team and the permission of the parent/guardian of each child (the inclusion of special instructions, dietary requirements and allergies is also extremely useful). This will allow Team Managers to take the necessary action in the event of an emergency.
For those events that require an overnight stay in lodgings/hotels it is essential that Team Managers take the necessary action to prevent the misuse of alcohol (from hotel mini bars etc.) and access to adult video/film channel
Coaches are key to the establishment of ethics in football. Their concept of ethics and their attitude directly affects the behaviour of players under their supervision. Coaches are, therefore, expected to pay particular care to the moral aspect of their conduct.
Coaches have to be aware that almost all of their everyday decisions and choices of actions, as well as strategic targets, have ethical implications.
It is natural that winning constitutes a basic concern for coaches. This code is not intended to conflict with that. However, the code calls for coaches to disassociate themselves from a “win-at-all-costs” attitude. Increased responsibility is requested from coaches involved in coaching young people.
The health, safety, welfare and moral education of young people are a first priority, before the achievement or the reputation of the club, school, coach or parent.
Set out below is The F.A. Coaches Association Code of Conduct (which reflects the standards expressed by the National Coaching Foundation and the National Association of Sports Coaches) which forms the benchmark for all involved in coaching:
Parents and spectators have a great influence on children’s enjoyment and success in football. All children play football because they first and foremost love the game – it’s fun. It is important to remember that however good a child becomes at football within the club it is important to reinforce the message to parents/spectators that positive encouragement will contribute to:
A parent’s and spectator’s expectations and attitudes have a significant bearing on a child’s attitude towards:
Ensure that parents and spectators within the club are always positive and encouraging towards all of the children not just their own (please ensure you stand behind the respect barriers as this really does help).
Encourage parents and spectators to:
Whistle-blowing can be used as an early warning system or when it’s recognised that appropriate actions have not been taken. This approach or policy is adopted in many different walks of life.
It is about revealing and raising concerns over misconduct or malpractice within an organisation or within an independent structure associated with it. Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague can also use whistle-blowing by calling 0800 169 1863 and asking for The FA’s safeguarding team, or via email on safeguarding@TheFA.com.
Alternatively you can go direct the Police or Children’s Social Care and report your concerns there, or to the Child Protection in Sport Unit via firstname.lastname@example.org or theNSPCC Helpline via 0808 800 5000 or by emailing email@example.com
The Association is responsible for setting the standards and values to apply throughout football at every level. Football is for everyone; it belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, anyone who wants to participate in it.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect and that The FA is equally accessible to all.
All Participants should abide and adhere to this Policy and to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
The Association’s commitment is to promote inclusion and to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status or civil partnership race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability, pregnancy and maternity and to encourage equal opportunities.
This Policy is fully supported by the Board of The Association and the Director of Football Regulation and Administration is responsible for the implementation of this policy.
The Association will ensure that it treats people fairly and with respect and that it will provide access and opportunities for all members of the community to take part in, and enjoy, its activities.
The Association will not tolerate harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of a Participant, which for the purposes of this Policy and the actions and sanction
applicable is regarded as discrimination, whether physical or verbal. The Association will work to ensure that such behaviour is met with appropriate action in whatever context it occurs.
The Association commits itself to the immediate investigation of any allegation, when it is brought to their attention, of discrimination and where such is found to be the case, The Association will require that the practice stop and impose sanctions as appropriate.
The Association is committed to inclusion and anti-discrimination and raising awareness and educating, investigating concerns and applying relevant and proportionate sanctions, campaigning, achieving independently verified equality standards, widening diversity and representation and promoting diverse role models are all key actions to promote inclusion and eradicate discrimination within football.