The F.A. Child Protection Procedures and Practices Handbook places a clear responsibility on clubs to ensure that they safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
The purpose of this policy is to inform all officials/parents about these responsibilities and to enable everyone to have a clear understanding of how they are to be carried out.
Our club follows the procedures contained in the F.A. Child Protection Procedures and Practices Handbook - a guide to procedure and practice for all F.A. Managers/Coaches.
This club acknowledges that Managers/Coaches are particularly well placed to notice outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour or failure to develop. We recognise the important role we have in early recognition of the signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect and appropriate referral procedures.
Mr Ian Heffernan.................................has been appointed as the Club Welfare Officer.
Our club has adopted clear and sound policies on confidentiality and will maintain all written evidence about child protection issues on a secure place. It will provide accurate information to the F.A. and Ealing & Hounslow Social Services, where appropriate, normally through the Club Welfare Officer. The club will provide training and yearly refesher meetings for club Officials.
Key responsibilities of the Club Welfare Officer:
Ensure that the F.A.'s Child protection procedures are followed within the club.
Ensure all Officers/managers/coaches/parents are aware of the procedures.
Ensure the appropriate training and support is provided.
Decide whether to take further action about particular concerns.
Report to the F.A./Social Services/police when nessesary.
Any adult member of the club could be approached by a child needing help or guidance. Likewise any Manager/Coach may be in a position to notice or be concerned about physical/sexual abuse or neglect.
If any Member is concerned about a child they must inform the Club Welfare Officer, unless the Club Welfare Officer is the cause for that concern. In which case they must inform the club Chairman,and in the unlikely circumstance that the Chairman is not available, then please contact the club Secretary.
Information regarding the concerns must be recorded by the Club Welfare Officer or other on the same day. The record must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations and must be signed and dated. The Club Welfare Officer will decide whether the matter should be referred to the F.A./Ealing & Hounslow Social Services or if nessesary the Police. Concerns will not be discussed with the parents before the Club Welfare Officer has consulted with the authorities.
Officers/Managers/Coaches should report if any of the following are observed.
Injury not typical of those associated with childrens activities.
Regular occurrence of unexplained injuries.
Confused or conflicting explanations of how injuries were sustained.
Significant changes of attitude or behaviour.
Sexual behaviour which is unusually explicit or inappropriate to the childs age.
A recount of an experience by a child in which they have been significantly harmed.
Do not promise confidentiality.
Explain who you will have to tell, and why.
Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief.
Accept what is being said.
Allow the child to talk freely, limit any questions to a minimum.
Seek only to clarify and strictly avoid leading the child or adult who has made the approach by making suggestions, or introducing your own ideas on what may have happened.
Never ask questions such as "Did he/she do xxxx to you?" Instead use a minimum number of questions of the "Tell me what happened" type.
If it is an adult making the approach and it becomes obvious that they are making a significant allegation concerning either abuse or neglect, you may feel it appropriate to stop them, and refer to the Club Welfare Officer (unless he/she is the subject of the allegation) to avoid repetition of the details.
Be especially careful to distinguish between fact and opinion.
Note also any non-verbal behaviour.
Reassure the child, but do not make any promises, that you cannot keep.
Assure the child, that what has happened, is not their fault.
Stress that the child has done the right thing, by telling you.
Do not enter the childs account by condemning or criticising the perpetrator.
BY FOLLOWING CORRECT PROCEDURES YOU ARE PROTECTING YOURSELF AND THE CLUB.
IF ANY MEMBER OF THE CLUB AT ANY STAGE HAS CONCERNS FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY, ESPECIALLY OWING TO HAVING MADE A REFERRAL, THEY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY INVOLVE THE CLUB WELFARE OFFICER WHO WILL PROMPTLY INVOLVE THE F.A. EALING & HOUNSLOW SOCIAL SERVICES AND THE POLICE IF NESSESARY.
THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION - NSPCC PROTECTION HELPLINE NUMBER IS
This Helpline is open 24 hrs a day, every day (including Xmas and bank holidays).
FOR DEAF USERS : TEXTPHONE 0800056 0566