Trimdon United Juniors Football Club - Safeguarding Children
Introduction
June 2020

Dear Manager, Coach, Volunteer, Parent, Player,

Trimdon United Juniors Football Club continues to be committed to ensuring all necessary steps are taken to protect our children and young people who both participate and are associated with our Football Club. There is more of an emphasis than ever this season on safeguarding as we are still going through an unprecedented time which has opened your child/ren to more online activity, limited social contact and limited physical activity.  We hold the wellbeing of our players, their families our coaches and volunteers above all else at our club and will endeavour to make sure everyone is as safe as we can make them. 

The attached procedures, policies and codes of conduct set out our Football Clubs position and responsibilities, and clarifies what is expected of anyone associated with our Club when it comes to safeguarding.  We have just competed COVID 19 risk assessments and procedures in line with FA and Government advice and safeguarding is a key element of this.

Everyone involved in football needs to understand the individual and collective responsibility they undertake when working with children and young people. It’s clear that working together and giving young people a voice makes a difference when it comes to having effective safeguards in football. It’s essential that everyone is clear about how to report a concern about the welfare of a child or young person. In short this means following the guidelines set out in this policy.

Further support and guidance can be obtained through me, your Clubs Welfare Officer and/or the County Association Welfare Officer. This essential network of Welfare Officers is further supported by The FA’s Safeguarding team at Wembley.

Remember it’s not your responsibility to decide if abuse is taking place, but it is your responsibility to report any concerns you may have.

Yours in Football,

Andy Coulthard
Trimdon United Juniors FC
Chairman and Club Welfare Officer
07818 510 370
andycoulthard@hotmail.com

Richard Hughes
Durham FA
County Assoc. Welfare Officer
0191 387 2929
Richard.Hughes@DurhamFA.com

 

Safeguarding Children - Definitions & Responsibilities

  1. The FA’s definitions of child, young person, abuse and harm

The FA recognises that the terms ‘child or young person’, ‘abuse’ and ‘harm’ are open to interpretation and challenge but for the purpose of this Club they are defined as follows;

A child or young person shall be defined as: ‘anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.’

Abuse shall be defined as: ‘a violation of an individual’s human or civil rights by any other person or persons and, for the purposes of safeguarding children, shall include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and bullying.’

Harm shall be defined as: ‘Ill treatment and forms of ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical) and also the impairment of or an avoidable deterioration in physical or mental health and the impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.’

Harm’ may be caused by acts of commission and acts of omission.

  1. Responsibility for safeguarding in football

We all have a moral and legal responsibility for the safety and protection of children and young people within football. However, there are people designated at every level of the game who take a lead with regards to safeguarding children and young people. Their role also includes supporting staff and volunteers in raising and thinking through how to manage concerns with the aim of making football as safe as possible for all concerned.

The FA requires a Welfare Officer in all clubs and leagues with youth teams in order to affiliate in grassroots football. The Welfare Officer role is a position of significant responsibility. The FA requires that all Welfare Officers are perceived as being approachable, having a child-centred approach and the ability to maintain this perspective when carrying out their role. A Welfare Officer should be clearly identified in every football setting and that includes football festivals and tournaments.

 

  1. The Club Welfare Officer

The Welfare Officer sits on the club’s management committee in order that safeguarding becomes embedded in grassroots football – remember safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and the club’s management committee must play its part in supporting the club Welfare Officer.

The club’s Welfare Officer is responsible for promoting best practice throughout the club and play’s a key role in dealing with poor practice concerns in line with the club’s own disciplinary processes. Matters of a more worrying nature should be referred to the CFA Welfare Officer for advice and support. Confidentiality regarding concerns should be maintained on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis.

Club Welfare Offices are required by The FA to:

  • Know who the CFA Welfare Officer (CFA WO) is and how to contact them
  • Refer all child protection and relevant poor practice concerns to the CFA WO • Seek advice from the NSPCC Helpline if the CFA WO is unavailable or in circumstances of child protection urgency
  • Seek advice from local Children’s Social Care or the Police in an emergency • Assist the club in effectively implementing The FA’s safeguarding children policy
  • Assist the club to utilise The FA’s Safer Recruitment best practice guidance on recruiting volunteers and always requesting and following up references and recruitment checks
  • Support the club in identifying those members who require a criminal records check, ensure they complete the appropriate check via the FACRB and making use of the Online Safeguarding Service to manage compliance across the club
  • Promote, support and encourage the benefits of the Safeguarding Children education programme
  • Assist the club in implementing The FA’s best practice guidelines.

 

  1. The County Football Association Welfare Officer

The CFA WO is a key member of The FA’s safeguarding team and works closely with The FA. They will receive and collate child protection concerns in accordance with FA protocols and procedures and deal with poor practice concerns directly. As and when required they will seek advice from The FA Case Manager, Children’s Social Care, the Police or the NSPCC Helpline regarding case referrals. Part of their role is to promote and support the aims of The FA’s safeguarding children policy and procedures and The FA’s best practice guidelines. They will assist the youth, mini-soccer and girls’ leagues to appoint Welfare Officers. Thereafter they will maintain contact with the network of Welfare Officers to offer support and guidance where necessary. The CFA WO will also support clubs and leagues in implementing criminal records checks and can advise on making use of The FA’s Respect programme.

Safeguarding Children - Dealing with disclosures concerns and allegations 

  1. Disclosure, Concerns & allegations

The term disclosure in this context is used to describe the sharing of child protection concern(s) by one individual to another.

There is a legal and moral responsibility to report any concerns about a child or young person in any context. The FA will support anyone who, in good faith, reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child or young person, even if that concern is proved to be unfounded. The following guidelines are relevant whether or not the child or young person is involved in football. It is essential that you follow The FA procedures for any concerns that are related to football settings.

Concerns may arise because:

  • A child or young person informs you directly that he or she is concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them
  • You become aware, through your own observations or through a third party, of possible abuse occurring.

 

Most suspicions of abuse come about from observation of changes in the child or young person’s behaviour, appearance, attitude or relationship with others. Your suspicions may develop over time. Where the concern does not involve individuals in football settings, the matter should be reported directly to local Children’s Social Care or the local Police.

What to do if a child or young person discloses to you

If a child or young person informs you directly that they are concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them, this is known as a disclosure. A disclosure may be given slowly over time or all at once and it may seem incomplete, unclear and may sometimes be retracted. Children don’t often tell in one simple ‘disclosure’.

The person receiving the disclosure should:

  • React calmly so as not to frighten the child or young person
  • Ensure the immediate safety of the child or young person
  • Tell the child or young person that he or she is not to blame and that he or she was right to tell
  • Take what the child or young person says seriously
  • If the child or young person needs immediate medical treatment, take them to hospital or telephone for an ambulance, inform doctors of concerns and ensure that they are aware that this is a child protection issue as it is their responsibility to refer this on appropriately to the Police or Children’s Services

 

Safeguarding Children - Dealing with disclosures concerns and allegations
& Child Abuse and Poor Practice

  • When speaking with the child or young person keep any questions to the absolute minimum. Ask only what is necessary to ensure a clear understanding of what has been said
  • Re-assure the child or young person but do not make promises of confidentiality or outcome, which might not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments
  • In the event of suspicion of sexual abuse try to avoid the child bathing or showering until given permission to do so. Washing can destroy valuable evidence
  • Take a detailed written record of what the child said to you
  • As soon as the child or young person completes the disclosure make sure you accurately record what they said using their language and of any actions you may have taken as a result
  • Inform the parents/carers immediately unless you have a specific reason not to, e.g. the child has named the parent/ carer as the abuser. If this is the case then contact the Welfare Officer. If they are unavailable contact local Children’s Social Care or the Police for guidance.

 

  1. Distinguishing between child abuse and poor practice

Concerns identified as child abuse will fall within the following five categories:

Physical Abuse; A child is physically hurt or injured by an adult or an adult gives alcohol or drugs to a child or young person
Neglect; A child’s basic physical needs are consistently not met or they are regularly left alone or unsupervised
Sexual Abuse; An adult or peer uses a child or young person to meet their own sexual needs
Emotional Abuse; Persistent criticism, denigrating or putting unrealistic expectations on a child or young person
Bullying; Persistent or repeated hostile and intimidating behaviour towards a child or young person.

Incidents of poor practice occur when the needs of children and young people are not afforded the necessary priority, so that their welfare is compromised. For example:

  • When insufficient care is taken to avoid injuries (e.g. by excessive training or inappropriate training for the age, maturity, experience and ability of players)

 

  • Giving continued and unnecessary preferential treatment to individuals and regularly or unfairly rejecting others (e.g. singling out and only focusing on the talented players and failing to involve the full squad)
  • Placing children or young people in potentially compromising and uncomfortable situations with adults (e.g. changing in a 1:1 situation with a young referee)
  • Allowing abusive or concerning practices to go unreported (e.g. a coach who ridicules and criticises players who make a mistake during a match)
  • Ignoring health and safety guidelines (e.g. allowing young players set up goal posts unsupervised by adults)
  • Failing to adhere to the club’s codes of practice (e.g. openly verbally abusing the referee)
  • When a child’s impairment related needs have not been taken into account

 

Please note:

  • The assessment about whether an incident is one of child abuse or poor practice may not be able to be made at the point of referral, but only after the collation of relevant information
  • The majority of poor practice concerns can be dealt with by the club or alternatively with support and guidance from the County FA
  • All child abuse will be dealt with by The FA (in conjunction with the statutory agencies) and with the support of the County FA

 

  1. FA’s reporting procedures

Dealing with possible poor practice in a football settinh

  1. You became aware of a poor practice concern in football
  1. Stay calm, if any child is present reassure him/her that they are not to blame. Don’t make promises of confidentiality or outcome. Take a detailed record of any concern and the action taken by you
  1. Refer the poor practice concern to the CWO, who will follow club or league procedures for a first report of poor practice, complete and submit the Affiliated Football Referral Form to the CFA WO
  1. CWO will seek advice from the CFA WO
  1. This could result in advice directly from CFA WO to CWO
  1. If poor practice is repeated the CFA WO will deem whether this should be referred to The FA’s Safeguarding team
  1. If referred, The FA’s Safeguarding team will offer advice
  1. The FA’s Safeguarding team will assess the information and advise accordingly

NB If the designated person is not available, or the concern is about this person, report your concerns directly to The FA Safeguarding team

 

Dealing with possible child abuse in a football setting

  1. You became aware of a possible child abuse concern in football
  1. Stay calm, if any child is present reassure him/her that they are not to blame. Don’t make promises of confidentiality or outcome. Take a detailed record of what is said and any action taken by you
  1. If the child or young person is in need of medical attention take them to hospital or telephone for an ambulance. Inform doctors about the concerns. Make them aware that it is a child protection issue
  1. Contact CWO and inform of concerns raised by alleged victim. If not possible, relay concerns directly to CFA WO
  1. The CWO will:
  • Contact the Police and Children’s Services immediately
  • Refer to the CFA WO or The FA’s Safeguarding team using the Affiliated Football Referral Form
  • Inform the parents/carers immediately unless you have a specific reason not to, e.g. the child has named the parent/carer as the abuser
  1. The FA’s Safeguarding team will assess the information provided and advise accordingly.

NB If the designated person is not available, or the concern is about this person, report your concerns directly to the local Children’s Social Care, the local Police or the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline. 

Dealing with concerns outside of a football setting 

  1. You became aware of a poor practice and/or possible abuse situation outside of a football setting involving a child or young person who participates in football activities
  1. If the child or young person is in need of medical attention take them to hospital or telephone for an ambulance. Inform doctors about the concerns. Make them aware that it is a child protection issue
  1. Contact the CWO immediately
  1. The CWO will:
  • Seek advice immediately from the local Children’s Services, the Police or NSPCC Helpline
  • Take action as advised by these agencies, including advice on contacting parents
  • Make a factual record of events using The Affiliated Football referral form, including any action taken as directed, and forward to The FA Case Manager • Indicate clearly whether or not the allegation refers to someone involved in football in any capacity

 

NB If the designated person is not available, or the concern is about this person, report your concerns directly to the local Children’s Social Care, the local Police or the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline

If you require further information then please refer to the FA’s website, Rules and Governance, Safeguarding and then Downloads.

 

The following documents are linked to your clubs safeguarding procedures and can be found on the clubs web pages at www.trimdonunited.trimdon.com;

 

 

Page added 17th June 2020

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TUJFC Safeguarding Documents