Warsash Wasps SFC Safeguarding Children Policy 2016 (reviewed and updated April 2022)
1. Warsash Wasps SFC 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. Warsash Wasps SFC recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.
3. Warsash Wasps SFC 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
• Interview all applicants before appointing them to a role within the club
• Require an FA CRB Enhanced Disclosure where appropriate in line with FA policy.
All current Warsash Wasps SFC members who are regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of children and young people will be required to complete a CRB Enhanced Disclosure via The FA CRB Unit1.
If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of Warsash Wasps SFC 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 FA CRB Unit Enhanced Disclosure and that all decisions will be made 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. Warsash Wasps SFC supports The FA’s Whistle blowing Policy. Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague can ‘whistle blow’ by contacting The FA Safeguarding Team on 0844 980 8200 4787, by writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London SW10 9EQ or alternatively by going direct to the Police, Children’s Social Care or the NSPCC.
Warsash Wasps SFC encourages everyone to know about it and utilise it if necessary.
6. Warsash Wasps SFC 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 Warsash Wasps SFC. 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 (see Appendix 1 for guidance on what might constitute a safeguarding issue – if in doubt always seek advice).
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 Police or Children’s Social Care
• call the NSPCC 24 hour Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or text 88858 or email email@example.com
NB – The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures are available via www.TheFA.com/Footballsafe – click on the ‘downloads’ under Policy and Procedures. The policy outlines in detail what to do if you are concerned about the welfare of a child and includes flow diagrams which describe this process. How to make a referral is also covered in the Safeguarding Children workshop. Participants are given the opportunity to discuss how this feels and how best they can prepare themselves to deal with such a situation.
For more information on this workshop contact your County Welfare Officer.
10. Further advice on Safeguarding Children matters can be obtained from:
• Neil Cunningham (Warsash Wasps Club Welfare Officer)
T: 07969 393167
• Melanie Gill (Hampshire County Football Association’s Welfare Officer)
T: 07885 807321
- Emailing – Footballsafe@TheFA.com
- The FA Safeguarding Children general enquiry line 0845 210 8080
Appendix 1 – Signs and Indicators of Abuse
What is abuse?
Where and how does it happen? Does it really happen in sport and indeed, in football? ‘Child abuse’ is a term used to describe what happens when a person, or group of people, harm a child or young person under the age of 18. Child abuse may mean that harm is actively done to the child or young person, such as beating or burning, or it may refer to neglect where the carers fail to protect the child or young person from harm. The abuser is often an adult, but may also be another young person and occasionally even a child. Usually the abuser has some sort of power over the child or young person, and often knows them well. Abuse can happen anywhere, e.g. in the family, any institution or group and in any activity where children or young people are present. There is a risk that direct abuse, or neglect, can happen in football.
The FA defines abuse into five categories.
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
Neglect takes place if adults fail to meet a child or young person’s basic physical needs, e.g. for food, warmth and clothing, or emotional needs such as attention and affection. It occurs if children or young people are left alone or inadequately supervised or where they are exposed to danger, injury or extreme weather conditions. In football, neglect could occur if children or young people do not have proper supervision, clothing or are allowed or encouraged to play whilst injured. It could occur if a child or young person’s particular health needs are disregarded before, during, or after a game.
Physical abuse occurs if people physically hit, burn, poison, shake or in some way hurt or injure children and young people, or fail to prevent these injuries from happening. In football, physical abuse could happen where training methods are inappropriate for the developmental age of the child or young person, where they are allowed to play with an injury or where inappropriate drugs or alcohol are offered or accepted. It would clearly happen if a child or young person is hit or physically restrained or manhandled by those supervising the game or training session.
Sexual abuse occurs if children or young people are used to meet another person’s sexual needs.This includes any form of sexual behaviour with a child or young person (by an adult or another child or young person), the use of sexually explicit language and jokes, inappropriate touching and exposure to pornographic material. Sexual abuse can occur in football. For example, where there is inappropriate touching, or where sexually-explicit jokes occur between adults and children or young people or if indecent images are taken or adapted and placed on child pornography sites.
Emotional abuse includes frequent threatening, taunting or sarcastic behaviour, along with
holding affection or being extremely overprotective. It includes racist or sexist behaviour and demeaning initiation ceremonies. It can be inflicted by other children and young people as well as by adults. Children and young people who are being abused or bullied in any way will also experience emotional abuse. In football, coaches or parents emotionally abuse children and young people if they constantly criticise, abuse their power, or impose unrealistic pressure to perform to a high standard. It may also occur if a club allows members to deride people with disabilities or from minority cultures and use derogatory language about them.
Although anyone can be the target of bullying, children and young people who are perceived as “different” from the majority may be at greater risk of bullying. This includes children and young people from minority cultures or children and young people with disabilities. Victims are often shy and sensitive and perhaps anxious or insecure.
Bullying can be defined as:
• Physical: hitting, kicking and theft
• Verbal: name calling, constant teasing, sarcasm, racist or homophobic taunts,
threats and gestures
• Emotional: tormenting, mobile text messaging, ridiculing, humiliating and ignoring
• Sexual: unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
Bullying can take place anywhere, but is more likely to take place where there is inadequate supervision. In football it is more likely to take place in the changing rooms, or on the way to and from the football pitch – but can also take place at a training session or in a competition. Football’s competitive nature can create and even support an environment for the bully if individuals and clubs are unaware.
The bully in football can be a parent who pushes too hard, a coach or manager who has a win-at-all costs philosophy; a child or young person intimidating another; or an official who places unfair pressure on a child or young person. The victim is often weaker and less powerful and the outcome is always painful and distressing. In an NSPCC survey of young people (2000), bullying was reported to be the most common source of distress and anxiety.
Signs and indicators
Children and young people are reluctant to tell someone when they are being abused, so it is essential that every adult is aware of the possible signals that a child and young person’s welfare or safety is being threatened. However, there is rarely a clear sign and you may often have to piece together various snippets of information and rely on your instinct that something does not seem quite right. You may have one piece of information that, when added to that of others, forms a clear picture of abuse. This is often compared to fitting pieces of a jigsaw together. Only when you have a few pieces can you start to see the true picture. Remember, it is not your job to decide whether or not a child or young person is being abused – however it is your responsibility to share your concerns.
However, you need to be careful as any one of these signs might have another very plausible explanation, such as a death in the family, loss of a pet, an absent family member or problems at school. However you should remember to raise your concerns if there is a combination of unexplained changes over a period of time. Never allow a child or young person’s disability or cultural difference to explain away concerns. This is not a judgement for you to make.
Appendix 2 – Travel, Trips and Tournaments
Should a child need to be transported to any engagement on behalf of the club, it is the responsibility of that child’s parent or guardian to ensure that they are safely escorted to the required destination at the agreed time, as advised by the club manager/coach/official.
Having arrived at the destination it is essential that a minimum ratio of 1 adult to 8 children is maintained throughout. For children under 8 the ratio should be a minimum of 1 adult to 5 children.
Ensure that you carry an up to date first aid kit. Do not rely on the home club having the necessary first aid resources.
Trips involving an overnight stay need to be referred to the Club Welfare Officer, who will advise on the additional consent forms required and measures to be taken, in advance of such a venture.
Appendix 3 – Use Of Photographic and Video Images
Before taking photographs of children and young people, parental consent must be sought in writing at the start of the season or prior to the event. The Player Information and Consent Form should be used for this purpose. Parents/carers are responsible for informing the Club of any change of circumstances within the Season which may affect consent.
Ensure that any child who is under care proceedings is protected by making certain that their image is not placed in the public domain. Parents/careers should indicate this on the Player Information and Consent Form.
Where possible the focus should be on the activity rather than any individual. All children featured will be appropriately dressed (a minimum of vest/shirt and shorts).
Images should represent the broad range of youngsters participating safely in football at Warsash Wasps.
No images of children and young people featured in Club publications will be accompanied by personal details such as their school or home address. Names may be used (i.e in local news publications) but only with full written consent from the parents to do so. Parents must be informed as to how the image will be used and this cannot be changed without their consent (i.e. Do not take a photo intended to be displayed at the Club and then use it again for a local newspaper article without gaining parental permission).
The Club does not put young player profiles with images and personal information on its website.
Do not under any circumstances allow images to be recorded in changing rooms, showers or toilets – this includes the use of mobile phones that record images.
Recordings of children and young people for the purposes of legitimate coaching aids are only filmed by Club officials and are stored safely and securely at the Club’s training ground.
Remember, it is not an offence to take appropriate photographs in a public place even if asked not to do so. No one has the right to decide who can and cannot take images on public land.
If you have serious concerns about a possible child protection issue relating to the recording of images then call the Police. This action should only be taken where you believe that someone may be acting unlawfully or putting a child at risk.