2022 Winners FA 'Grassroot project' 2021 Winners NCC 'Training and Development'
2022 Winners FA 'Grassroot project' 2021 Winners NCC 'Training and Development'
Lead Responsible Director of Football, Safeguarding and Welfare
Effective from September 2023
Approved by Group Board of Directors
Approval Date September 2013
Review Date September 2024
Football Club Safeguarding Children Policy
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 providing 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. Key Principles
The key principles of The FA Safeguarding Children Policy are as follows:
· 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 organizations, 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 recognizes that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.
3. Scope of Safeguarding
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. The Football Association’s Safeguarding Children Regulations apply to everyone in football, whether in a paid or voluntary capacity, including volunteers, match officials, helpers on club tours, football coaches, club officials, and medical staff.
4. Responsible Recruitment
We endorse and adopt The FA’s Responsible Recruitment guidelines for recruiting volunteers. When recruiting individuals for roles involving children and young people, we will:
· Specify the role and its tasks clearly.
· Request identification documents as a minimum requirement.
· Meet and interview the applicants whenever possible.
· Ask for and follow up with 2 references before appointing someone.
· 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, 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.
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. The FA will consider the relevance and significance of the information obtained via the CRC Process and make suitability decisions in accordance with legislation and the best interests of children and young people. The aim is 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 within football.
5. Whistle Blowing
Community Sport Academies Football Club supports The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy. Any adult or young person with concerns about an adult in a position of trust with football can ‘whistle blow’ by contacting The FA Safeguarding Team, writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London SW1P 9EQ, emailing: Info@footballunites.org, or going directly to the Police, Children’s Social Care, or the NSPCC. We encourage everyone to be aware of The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy and to utilize it if necessary.
6. Club Welfare Officer
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 Club Welfare Officer will be involved in 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. They will liaise directly with the County FA (CFA) Welfare Officer and be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. The Club Welfare Officer will also play a proactive role in increasing awareness of Respect, poor practice, and abuse among club members.
Community Sport Academies Football Club acknowledges and endorses 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 report incidents, knowing that they will be dealt with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to the Club Welfare Officer, and in cases of serious bullying, the CFA Welfare Officer may be contacted.
8. Respect Codes of Conduct
Respect codes of conduct for Players, Parents/Spectators, Officials, and Coaches have been implemented by Community Sport Academies Football Club. 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 Concerns
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. If you are worried about a child, it is important to report your concerns. No action is not an option. Reporting concerns should follow these steps:
i. If you are worried about a child, report your concerns to the Club Welfare Officer.
ii. If the issue involves 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, possibly involving child abuse, 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 inform them that this is a child protection concern. Let your Club Welfare Officer know the action you have taken, and they will inform the CFA Welfare Officer.
v. If you are unable to contact your Club Welfare Officer or the matter is clearly serious, you can:
· Contact your CFA Welfare Officer directly. · Contact The FA Safeguarding Team at Info@footballunites.org.
· 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further advice on Safeguarding Children matters, contact Jonathan Silman at E: email@example.com or visit TheFA.com/football-rules-governance/safeguarding.
Let’s make football safe – not sorry.
Adult Safeguarding Policy
1. Policy Statement
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 a single act or omission or a series of acts or omissions.
Capacity refers to an individual adult’s ability to make 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.
4. 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.
5. Poor Practice
Poor practice includes any behavior that contravenes existing codes of conduct, infringes an individual’s rights, and/or reflects a failure to fulfill the expected standards of care. Failure to challenge poor practice can lead to an environment where abuse is more likely to occur or continue.
6. Adult Safeguarding
Adult safeguarding is working with adults with care and support needs to keep them safe from abuse or neglect.
Consent is not given forever and is only relevant at the point of being expressed and may be for a specific reason only.
8. Sport Academies Authorities’ Policy Statement
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 recognize some people may need additional safeguards and/or protection. These adults are referred to as ‘Adults at risk’. The Sport Authorities recognize 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 organizations 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.
9. 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 regulations include:
· 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 paramount.
· 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.
10. 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 be possible or safe. If in doubt, seek advice from safeguarding@TheFA.com.
11. 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 presented.
· Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need.
· Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities.
· Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
· 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.
· 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: Info@footballunites.org.
13. 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 a 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.
14. Three-Part Strategy
Sport has a three-part strategy to turn policy into practice:
· Prevention: implementing preventative safeguarding measures.
· Reporting: making the reporting of concerns as easy as possible.
· 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 with adults.
iv. All Participants, including players, should know how to recognize 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.
i. All Participants, including players, should know how to recognize 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. While 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 Info@footballunites.org.
xi. The referral to The FA should be made by completing the Affiliated Sport Referral form. See Appendix 2.
17. Investigations and Resolution
Safeguarding adults can require complex decision-making. Advice can always be sought from Info@footballunites.org.
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 by: Info@footballunites.org.
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 Info@footballunites.org 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 recognized that appropriate actions have not been taken. Anyone with concerns about a person’s conduct towards an adult at risk can whistle-blow by calling Jonathan Silman and Fatima Silman on Info@footballunites.org 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 involved in disclosing, supporting, or managing allegations of abuse. The FA’s Safeguarding Team can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
· Radicalization – the aim of radicalization 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.
Please note that this is a comprehensive safeguarding policy, and it is essential to adapt it to your specific football club's needs and local regulations. Additionally, it's crucial to regularly review and update the policy to ensure it remains effective and compliant with any changes in legislation or best practices.
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