FOOTBALL UNITES US THROUGH COVID-19
FOOTBALL UNITES US THROUGH COVID-19
Football Club Safeguarding Children Policy
1..Community Sport Academies Football Club acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every child and young person who has been entrusted to its care and is committed to working to provide a safe environment for all members. A child or young person is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any club football activity. We subscribe to The Football Association’s (The FA) Safeguarding Children – Policy and Procedures and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document.
2.The key principles of The FA Safeguarding Children Policy are that: 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, race, sexual orientation, faith or belief all suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. working in partnership with other organisations, children and young people and their parents/carers is essential.
We acknowledge that every child or young person who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse.
Community Sport academies Football Club recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.
3. Community Sport academies Football 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’s Safeguarding Children Regulations (see The FA Handbook) applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This means whether you are a volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.
4.We endorse and adopt The FA’s Responsible Recruitment guidelines for recruiting volunteers and we will:
specify what the role is and what tasks it involves request identification documents as a minimum meet and chat with the applicant(s) and where possible interview people before appointing them ask for and follow up with 2 references before appointing someone where eligible require an FA accepted Enhanced Criminal Record Check (CRC) with Barring List Check in line with current FA policy and regulations.
All current Football Club members working in eligible roles, with children and young people - such as managers and coaches are required to hold an in-date FA accepted Enhanced CRC with Barring List check as part of responsible recruitment practice 1.
If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of Football Club 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 CRC Process and that all suitability decisions will be made in accordance with legislation and
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 to minimise the risk of ‘grooming’ within football. Using this Policy
5.Community Sport academies Football 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.
Community Sport academies Football Club encourages everyone to know about The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy and to utilise it if necessary.
6. Community Sport academies Football 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.
7. 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. Respect codes of conduct for Players, Parents/ Spectators, Officials and Coaches have been implemented by Community Sport academies Football Club. In order to validate these Respect codes of conduct the club has clear actions it will take regarding repeated or serious misconduct at club level and acknowledges the possibility of potential sanctions which may be implemented by the County FA in more serious circumstances.
9. 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
Further advice on Safeguarding Children matters can be obtained from:
Let’s make football safe – not sorry
ADULT AT RISK OF HARM:
· A person aged 18 or over who has needs for care and support (whether
or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and: is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect, and:
· as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect
themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
An individual’s level of vulnerability to harm may vary over time depending on the
circumstances they are in and their needs at that time.
Not all adults with care and support needs will be at risk of harm. This will depend on
the individual, their current situation and the circumstances they are in.
Abuse is defined as a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other
person or persons. It includes acts of commission (such as an assault) and acts of
omission (situations where the environment fails to prevent harm). Abuse may be
single act or omission or series of acts or omissions.
Capacity refers to an individual adult’s ability to take a specific decision or take a
particular action at a particular time even if they are able or not able to make other
decisions at other times. The starting point should be that the person has capacity
to make a decision unless it can be established that they cannot.
CARE AND SUPPORT NEEDS:
Care and support needs can arise from or are related to a physical or mental
impairment or illness and are not caused by other circumstantial factors. This includes
if the adult has a condition as a result of physical, mental, sensory, learning or cognitive
disabilities or illnesses, substance abuse or brain injury. This list is not exhaustive.
Poor practice includes any behaviour that contravenes existing codes of conduct,
infringes an individual’s rights and/or reflects a failure to fulfil the expected
standards of care. Failure to challenge poor practice can lead to an environment
where abuse is more likely to occur or continue.
Adult safeguarding is working with adults with care and support needs to keep them
safe from abuse or neglect.
Consent is not given for ever and is only relevant at the point of being expressed and
may be for a specific reason only.
THE SPORT ACADEMIES
The Sport Authorities listed in this document adopt the statement below:
The Sport Authorities are committed to ensuring sport is inclusive and provides
a safe and positive experience for every adult participant involved in the game,
regardless of age, gender, gender reassignment, disability, culture, language, race,
faith, belief or sexual orientation.
The Sport Authorities recognise some people may need additional safeguards
and/or protection. These adults are referred to as ‘Adults at risk’. The Sport
Authorities recognise their responsibility to safeguard and protect adults at risk by
responding appropriately to any allegations or suspicions of abuse. Everyone who
works with adults at risk has a responsibility to commit to this.
If abuse is suspected, or reported, The Authorities and The Association will work in
partnership with the adult at risk wherever possible, depending on their capacity
and the risk to them and others. The Association will also work in partnership
with the Police, health and/or adult services, the Disclosure and Barring Service,
Safeguarding Adults Boards and local authorities so these organisations can carry
out their statutory duties to safeguard and protect adults at risk.
When responding to abuse or allegations of abuse and considering the sharing of
information, The Authorities and The Association will put the needs of the adult first
and take into account the six principles of safeguarding adults detailed in the Care
Act 2014: empowerment; protection; prevention; proportionality; partnership; and
accountability. These principles will underpin all work with adults at risk.
4. RULES AND REGULATIONS
FA Rules and Regulations apply to anyone defined as a ‘Participant’ (including
but not exclusively players, coaches, officials, match officials and staff). Specific
• FA Regulations for Safeguarding Adults. Case Management procedures are
in place to assess the suitability of individuals to be involved with Adults at
Risk in sport. In assessing that suitability, the welfare of Adults at Risk is
• FA Rule E14 sets out a duty to report a potential or actual breach of The FA
Safeguarding Children Regulations and the Adults at Risk Regulations.
Each of the Sport Authorities may have their own rules, regulations and policies to
underpin their own safeguarding adults at risk work.
5. KEY PRINCIPLES SELF-DETERMINATION
Safeguarding adults can be complex. Adults have a right to self-determination and
may choose not to act to protect themselves. Safeguarding adults means creating
a culture that informs the adult and consults them on all decisions affecting them
and works in partnership with them.
As a principle safeguarding concerns should be discussed with the adult to establish
their views and involve them in the safeguarding process. Occasionally however this
may not possible or safe. If in doubt seek advice from safeguarding@TheFA.com
THE CARE ACT
The six principles of the Care Act apply. The principles work together:
• Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their
own decisions and informed consent.
• Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs.
• Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk
• Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need.
• Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their
• Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering
• Abuse in affiliated sport: Staff and volunteers should always share
safeguarding concerns with their Designated Safeguarding Officer
except in an emergency when Police, health and/or adult services or
health services should be contacted.
• Any concerns regarding a potential or actual breach of the Adults at Risk
Regulations should be reported to The FA and other Sport Authorities
if relevant (see Appendix 1: GENERIC FLOWCHART FOR REPORTING and
Appendix 4: SAFEGUARDING REFERRAL FORM – AFFILIATED SPORT).
• Abuse outside sport: If you become aware of an incident outside of
sport relating to someone involved in sport, and need to seek advice
please contact safeguarding@TheFA.com
RELATIONSHIPS OF TRUST
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes it an offence for those engaged in providing
care, assistance or services to someone with a learning disability or mental disorder
to engage in sexual activity with that person whether or not that person has the
capacity to consent. This clause does not apply to sport but the principle of power
imbalance must be considered when working with adults at risk.
There are some roles in sport where adults have responsibility for, authority over
and influence on others and as a result there is a power imbalance between the two
adults. Roles with this power imbalance are described as ‘Relationships of Trust’
Relevant roles that may create power imbalance include those that involve caring,
advising, supervising, training, coaching, teaching, managing, tutoring, mentoring,
assessing, developing, guiding, treating or providing therapy.
Some adults may have additional vulnerabilities arising from previous abuse,
complex care histories or conditions that make understanding boundaries in
relationships difficult. This can leave adults open to exploitation or abuse.
The power imbalance between those with responsibility and those being coached,
mentored or otherwise supported may mean that the Sport Authorities may
consider a sexual relationship to be inappropriate although not illegal.
The FA Safeguarding Adults at Risk Regulations enable an assessment to be
undertaken of the suitability of a person to be involved in sport if they may place
adults at risk. Sexual relationships where there is an imbalance of power and possible
breach of the relationship of trust perceived to be inappropriate will be assessed on
a case-by-case basis in partnership with the adult .
All possible breaches of the relationship of trust must be reported to the
Designated Safeguarding Officer.
Some Sport Authorities may have their own internal rules and regulations
about the relationship of trust and these should be made known to those working
in affiliated sport.
6. THREE-PART STRATEGY
Sport has a three-part strategy to turn policy into practice:
1. Prevention: implementing preventative safeguarding measures;
2. Reporting: making the reporting of concerns as easy as possible;
3. Investigations: and resolutions ensuring safeguarding concerns are
investigated swiftly and thoroughly with relevant statutory agencies
and with demonstrable outcomes
The following are recommended and may be required in certain settings.
i. Every affiliated Club and League with players aged 18 and over should adopt
a Policy and reporting procedures compatible with this affiliated Policy and
Procedures, including a named Designated Safeguarding Officer for adults.
ii. The title and responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Officer for
adults will vary according to the environment, but should include receiving
safeguarding concerns and referring appropriately.
iii. The Designated Safeguarding Officer for adults should be appropriately
recruited, trained and supported. Training should include partnership working
iv. All Participants, including players, should know how to recognise and report
concerns about an adult at risk.
v. Where a role will have direct responsibility for adults at risk, appropriate
recruitment is required. This should include:
• Involving Participants in the process when possible;
• Advertising a positive stance on safeguarding and inclusion;
• Confirmation of the identity of the applicant with original documentation;
• Shortlisting and interviewing as appropriate for the role;
• Requesting at least two written references, which should be followed up
prior to any offer of appointment being made;
• Substantiating qualifications e.g. requesting original copies of certificates;
• An induction appropriate for the role;
• Identifying and facilitating training needs.
vi. The Sport Authorities will seek to remain informed of eligibility criteria and
review their use of DBS Checks at regular intervals.
vii. Appropriate guidance and training in safeguarding adults will be provided.
Note: This should be read in conjunction with sections 5 and 6.
Safeguarding adults can be complex and the needs and wishes of the adult must
be identified and respected. Volunteers and staff are not expected to carry risk nor
make assessments of capacity.
Advice can be sought from safeguarding@TheFA.com
i. All Participants, including players, should know how to recognise and report
concerns. This should include a flow chart on how to manage concerns including
how to respond out of hours.
ii. Where people express concerns they will be listened to regardless of role.
All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously.
iii. Allegations of non-recent abuse will be taken seriously.
iv. Whilst the adult’s wishes should be established, all safeguarding concerns must
be referred to the relevant Designated Safeguarding Officer.
v. In an emergency a referral should be made to the Police, health and/or adult
services, health or adult services and a written record kept and shared with the
Designated Safeguarding Officer.
vi. Reporting to a statutory agency must be followed through by reporting to
The FA Safeguarding Team within one working day.
vii. Statutory agency advice should be followed if a report is made.
viii. The Designated Safeguarding Officer must know how to escalate safeguarding
concerns and where and when to seek help and advice. County FAs and
clubs and leagues in the National Game should seek FA guidance which will
be provided by County FA DSOs and The FA’s safeguarding team. Clubs in
professional leagues should follow relevant league rules and advice.
ix. The professional game may also have internal reporting requirements.
x. If the allegation is of abuse or neglect and the alleged perpetrator is involved
in sport, a report must always be made to safeguarding@TheFA.com
xi. The referral to The FA should be made by completing the Affiliated Sport
Referral form. See Appendix 2.
It can be hard to decide if something is poor practice or abuse as this may vary
according to different factors including:
• The vulnerability of the victim;
• Why and where it happened;
• How often it’s happened;
• How long it goes on for;
• The degree of impact.
Advice can be sought from safeguarding@TheFA.com
3. INVESTIGATIONS AND RESOLUTION
Safeguarding adults can require complex decision-making. Advice can always be
sought from safeguarding@TheFA.com
i. On receipt of information the Designated Safeguarding Officer will seek to
clarify the facts, consider if this is poor practice or abuse and seek to understand
the adult’s wishes.
ii. Poor practice should be recorded, addressed and monitored and the adult
involved whenever possible in the process and resolution.
iii. If the concern is or may be abuse in sport the adult’s wishes should be
established but it must be referred following internal rules, regulations to the
Case Management Team at Wembley safeguarding@TheFA.com
iv. If the concern is or may be abuse or neglect outside sport the adult’s wishes
should be established. If the adult does wish for any support but there is concern
for their safety advice should be sought from safeguarding@TheFA.com or
according to internal rules and regulations.
v. The FA Safeguarding Case Management Team will always work in partnership
with the adult concerned.
vi. The FA Safeguarding Case Management Team will work with statutory agencies
to assess people who may pose a risk of harm, and put safeguards in place
where appropriate. These include but are not limited to suspensions from
sport where necessary and barring referrals to DBS when thresholds are met.
vii. Whistle-blowing in a safeguarding context means revealing and raising concerns
over Misconduct, or matters which might be considered to be Misconduct.
It can be used as an early-warning system or when it’s recognised that
appropriate actions have not been taken.
Anyone with concerns about a person’s conduct towards an adult at risk can whistleblow
by calling The FA’s safeguarding team on 08000 835 902 or via email to
safeguarding@TheFA.com. Concerns can also be reported to Police, health and/or
adult services or local Adult Services.
Sport Authorities may also have their own mandatory reporting regulations i.e.
the Premier League (PL) is to be notified at the same time as The FA, in line with PL
regulations where referral thresholds are met.
To support this three-part strategy and process the Sport Authorities will
communicate clearly on:
• How to raise concerns about an adult at risk;
• How to manage poor practice concerns;
• How to manage referrals of abuse;
• Complaint processes;
• How to appeal decisions taken by the Safeguarding team at Wembley;
• Support available for those in involved in disclosing, supporting or
managing allegations of abuse.
The FA’s Safeguarding Team can be contacted on safeguarding@TheFA.com.
IN SPORT WE MIGHT ALSO SEE:
Bullying – bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person
or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves
an imbalance of power. It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace,
and comes in many different forms.
Cyber-bullying – using technology to bully and humiliate people
Forced marriage – The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry. The adult may report
gifts of gold, planned trips abroad or disclose anxiety about an event.
Mate crime – when vulnerable people are befriended by members of the
community who go on to exploit and take advantage of them. It may not be an
illegal act but still has a negative effect on the individual.
Radicalisation – the aim of radicalisation is to attract people to their reasoning,
inspire new recruits and embed their extreme views and persuade vulnerable
individuals of the legitimacy of their cause. This may be direct through
a relationship, or through social media.
Cuckooing – is an expression used when abusers make use of an adult’s
home for criminal purposes.
All concerns should be reported in line with local reporting procedures.
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