Safeguarding Children

Learn about safeguarding children in football.

DCFA acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every child and young person and is committed to providing a safe environment for all. We recognise that a child is anyone under the age of 18 and subscribe to The FA's Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures.

 

THE FACTS

A child is someone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. Once they turn 18, they are legally an adult. The FA, County FAs, and football clubs should always ask parents/carers if it's okay for their children to get involved in football.

16-17 year olds will usually be asked to make their own decision about getting involved (self-consent). In some exceptional circumstances parents/carers may also be asked.

 

Children have the right:

  • To feel safe both on and offline;
  • To build healthy relationships and set appropriate boundaries;
  • Not to be bullied, harassed or intimidated;
  • Not to feel uncomfortable or unsafe;
  • Not to be discriminated against.

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 be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of everyone involved in football.

Football recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by seeking to protect them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying

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

  • Physical Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Bullying

Hazing is any action or situation, with or without the consent of the participants, which recklessly, intentionally, or unintentionally endangers the mental, physical, or emotional wellbeing of a child or young person. Hazing is not tolerated in affiliated football.

Within football, poor practice is defined as:

  • When insufficient care is taken to avoid injuries;
  • Allowing abusive or concerning practices to go unreported;
  • Allowing hazing practices to go unreported;
  • Placing children or young people in potentially compromising and uncomfortable situations with adults;
  • Ignoring health and safety guidelines;
  • Failing to adhere to the club’s codes of practice;
  • Giving continued and unnecessary preferential treatment to individual.

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

There are five ways to report a concern:

  • To your Club Welfare Officer – please find out from your club who these people are;
  • To your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  • By emailing The FA Safeguarding Team at safeguarding@thefa.com or by calling and asking for the team on 0800 169 1863;
  • If urgent and you cannot contact your club, league or County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, you should call the NSPCC 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000;
  • If it is an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the Police or Children’s Social Care in your area.

Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague’s conduct towards a child or young person can also use whistle-blowing by calling 0800 169 1863 and asking for The FA’s safeguarding team, or via email to safeguarding@thefa.com.

There are five ways to report a concern:

• To your Club Welfare Officer – please find out from your club who these people are;

• To your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer.

• By emailing The FA Safeguarding Team at safeguarding@thefa.com or by calling and asking for the team on 0800 169 1863;

• If urgent and you cannot contact your club, league or County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, you should call the NSPCC 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000;

• If it is an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the Police or Children’s Social Care in your area.

• Direct to the local Police or Children’s Social Care services, or

• The Child Protection in Sport Unit at cpsu@nspcc.org.uk, or The NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague’s conduct towards a child or young person can also use whistle-blowing by calling 0800 169 1863 and asking for The FA’s safeguarding team, or via email to safeguarding@thefa.com.

If something is – or might be – abuse, the Club Welfare Officer (Adult Disability Teams) must report this to the CFA DSO within 24 hours.

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