Taunton Youth FC Community Trust 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 to promote their well-being and welfare. This commitment to protect from harm extends to all those connected with the activities of the charity.
To do this we have a Safeguarding Policy and procedures that are reviewed annually, when the legislation changes and after any safeguarding incident. The version contained here was last updated in December 2018 and formally reviewed and approved by the charity trustees on 10 December 2018.
WHO THE POLICY APPLIES TO
The policy applies to everyone associated with or benefitting from the activities of our charity, i.e. all players, coaches, trustees, staff and volunteers.
We commit to informing all beneficiaries and parents/carers of the policy and procedures as appropriate. To facilitate this a copy is posted on our public website and referenced in the Welcome Pack we share with all new joiners.
1. As a footballing organisation we subscribe to and follow 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:
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. At Taunton Youth FC Community Trust we recognise this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.
3. Taunton Youth FC Community Trust 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.
These are defined as follows:
Physical Abuse: A child is physically hurt or injured by an adult or an adult gives alcohol or drugs to a child or young person
Neglect: A child’s basic physical needs are consistently not met or they are regularly left alone or unsupervised
Sexual Abuse: An adult or peer uses a child or young person to meet their own sexual needs
Emotional Abuse: Persistent criticism, denigrating or putting unrealistic expectations on a child or young person
Bullying: Persistent or repeated hostile and intimidating behaviour towards a child or young person. Incidents of poor practice occur when the needs of children and young people are not afforded the necessary priority, so as their welfare is compromised.
Signs to look for include but are not limited to:
4. We endorse and adopt The FA’s Responsible Recruitment guidelines for the safe recruitment, selection and vetting of all volunteers, staff and trustees who have direct or indirect contact with children. We do this by:
All current Taunton Youth FC Community Trust members working in eligible roles, with children and young people, such as managers, coaches and trustees are required to hold an in-date Enhanced DBS check as part of our 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 our 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 DBS 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.
5. Taunton Youth FC Community Trust supports The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy. Whistle-blowing can be used as an early warning system or when it’s recognised that appropriate actions have not been taken. It is about revealing and raising concerns over misconduct or malpractice within an organization. Any adult or young person with concerns about an adult in a position of trust can ‘whistle blow’ by:
Taunton Youth FC Community Trust encourages everyone to know about The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy and to utilise it if necessary.
6. Taunton Youth FC Community Trust 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.
Details of the role of the Welfare Officer can be found at: http://www.thefa.com/-/media/files/thefaportal/governance-docs/safeguarding/raising-awareness/club-welfare-officer-roles-responsibilities.ashx
The post holder (currently Neil White) 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 Somerset FA Welfare Officer may be contacted.
8. We endorse and have implemented the FA’s ‘Respect’ codes of conduct for Players, Parents/ Spectators, Officials and Coaches. Collectively these codes of conduct help to create the right environments for our players, both on and off the pitch. They are in place to ensure that everyone involved with our club is playing their part to give players a positive experience.
In order to validate these 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.
These sanctions can include:
Full copies of these codes of conduct can be found on the FA website and in our Welcome Pack.
9. We endorse and follow the FA’s recommended guidelines for Celebrating Football Through Photographs and Video. A copy can be found online and in our Welcome Pack.
10. 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. All concerns and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to appropriately.
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:
iii. If the concern is more serious (e.g. possible child abuse) where possible contact the County FA 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 County FA 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:
11. If an allegation or report of abuse is reported to the Club’s Welfare Officer they will respond rapidly and make an assessment based on their training. This assessment could require work to undertake a confidential investigation. The assessment will classify the case as:
If high and immediate-risk – the statutory authorities will be informed and within 24 hours a standard referral form outlining the case will be sent to The FA Safeguarding team.
If medium-risk – a referral form will be sent to The FA Safeguarding team within 24 hours and handled on a case-by-case basis. This means it may be referred to the statutory authorities or handled by The FA and Somerset County FA.
If lower-risk – then it will be handled by the club in conjunction with Somerset County FA.
Thereafter there are various risk management actions which could be taken to safeguard children. These include education, mentoring, supervision and, where appropriate, suspensions.
12. Confidential records will be kept for the purposes of recording incidents, concerns and referrals. It is the responsibility of the Club’s Welfare Officer to store these securely in a way that is compliant with the club’s data protection policy and the relevant legislation (e.g. General Data Protection Regulation).
13. Further advice on Safeguarding Children matters can be obtained from:
Neil White, Taunton Youth FC Community Trust’s designated Welfare Officer.
Tel: 07977 915956. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul West, Taunton Youth FC Community Trust’s Director of Coaching and designated deputy for welfare and safeguarding.
Tel: 07795 117106
Shirley Needham - Somerset County Football Association’s Welfare Officer
Tel: 07535 664988. Email: Shirley.Needham@SomersetFA.com
HOW WE RAISE AWARENESS TO THE POLICY
We are totally committed to raising awareness of safeguarding, dealing with inappropriate behaviours and promoting best practice. We do this in a number of ways including: