Initial reports will normally be to the Club Welfare Officer (Adult Disability Teams) unless they are suspected of being involved in the concern. If this happens the report should be made directly to the County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer (CFA DSO).
Even if the adult does not want action taken, the concern must still be shared as no volunteer or staff member should hold back information that might mean an adult is at risk.
Holding back information could mean that poor practice or abuse continues or gets worse. Keeping information private puts unfair pressure on volunteers and encourages a culture of secrets.
After receiving a report, the Club Welfare Officer (Adult Disability Teams) will involve the adult to establish their views and involve them in the next steps (assuming it is safe to do so).
If a disclosure is made:
- Find a quiet place to talk;
- Be patient, listen carefully and stay calm;
- Allow enough time for the person to communicate fully;
- Be clear with them that they have a right to be safe;
- Ask the adult what they would like to happen and reassure them that their views and wishes will be taken into account;
- Explain the information must be passed on to the CWO (Adult Disability Teams) – assuming they’re not implicated.
But please avoid:
- Asking lots of questions;
- Beginning investigations or touching any evidence;
- Deleting any messages or pictures;
- Putting anyone at risk by the actions you take.
If you are worried about an adult don’t keep concerns to yourself.
Depending on your relationship with the person and how serious your concerns are, see if the person would like to talk to you or the Club Welfare Officer (Adult Disability Teams).
It is best practice, when safe to do so, to discuss any safeguarding concerns with the adult to establish their views and the expression ‘nothing about me without me’ is a useful one to remember.