Safeguarding children is about doing things the right way and doing things properly. That means there is no place for bullying, neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse in football at any level. Football can have a powerful and positive influence on children but that means everyone involved in football must take on the responsibility of looking after those children are involved in the game as a player, spectator, coach or referee.
The key principles for ensuring children are safe in football are;
- The child's welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration
- All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
It is estimated that 4million children are involved in football in the UK and providing opportunities for those children are over 500,000 volunteers in clubs and leagues. Grassroots football would not exist without the many thousands of volunteers involved today. Ensuring that we encourage those individuals that are suitable for the many roles football has to offer, is essential. Remember that a friendly, well run club is more likely to be successful in encouraging additional volunteers. Therefore all reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children and young people. Sound recruitment and selection procedures will help to screen out those who are not suitable to work in football.
For information on FA DBS (formerly known as CRB) and other recruitment ideas please contact Cath Morton, County Welfare Officer on 01332 361422 or your Club Welfare Officer.
All Clubs with junior teams must now show a commitment to Safeguarding by having a Club Welfare Officer. The appointed person will work with the management committee to ensure all the necessary safeguarding policies and procedures are in place this includes a Child Protection Policy, Anti-Bully, Travel and Transport guidance and the Respect Codes of Conduct. The Club Welfare Officer is a point of contact for any concerns that you may have in relation to child welfare. A Link to the FA’s Codes of Conduct can be found at the following link http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/WhatWeDo/FootballSafe/Downloads
If you are concerned about the welfare of a child within football you have a moral and statutory responsibility to report your concerns. Please find a list of key contacts;
• Cath Morton - County Welfare Officer- 01332 361422
• Your Club Welfare Officer
• FA/ NSPCC 24-Hour Help-line - 0808 800 5000 alternatively you can text on 88858
If you concerns about a child outside a football setting please contact the Police or your local Children’s Services or Safeguarding Children Board
• Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board - 01629 532169
• Derbyshire Police - 0345 123 3333
If you or a child has any concerns of any abuse online including Child exploitation please report this through CEOP link http://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
For more information on Staying Safe online and doing the right thing on your club websites please refer to the FA Communication Guidelines http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/WhatWeDo/FootballSafe/Downloads
Remember: It is NOT our responsibility to decide if abuse has taken place BUT if we have concerns it IS our responsibility to act and report those concerns