Welfare & Safeguarding Policy

1. Upton Junior Football Club (JFC) 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 Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure and endorse and adopt the policy statement contained in that document which can be viewed via the following link (scroll to the bottom to download the Grassroots Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure).

http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/safeguarding/policy-downloads

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, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation
  • 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 or 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. Upton JFC recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.

3. Upton JFC 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 regulation (see The FA Handbook) applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This includes those who are a volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.

4. We endorse and adopt The FA’s Child Protection and Best Practice Guidelines for recruiting volunteers and will:

  • Specify to the volunteer 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
  • Where eligible require an FA accepted Enhanced Criminal Record Check (CRC) with Barring List Check in line with current FA policy and regulations.

5. All current Upton JFC volunteers 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.

If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of Upton JFC, 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 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.

6. Upton JFC 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 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 by going direct to the Police, Children’s Social Care or the NSPCC. Upton JFC encourages everyone to know about it and utilise it if necessary.

Upton JFC has appointed at least one Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in line with The FA’s role profile, who has completed the FA Safeguarding Course 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.

Please contact the Upton JFC Welfare Team via email (welfareuptonjfc@gmail.com).

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, parents or guardians should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to the CWO, a member of the Executive Committee or, in cases of serious bullying contact the Cheshire FA Welfare Officer on 01606 302028 or 01606 871166.

8. Respect Codes of Conduct for players, parents or spectators, officials and coaches are endorsed by Upton JFC and are published on the Club website. In order to validate these Codes of Conduct the club has clear sanctions, written in the Club Constitution to deal with any misconduct at club level and acknowledges the possibility of potential sanctions which may be implemented by Leagues or the County Football Association in more serious circumstances. All members will be informed of these codes.

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 County FA 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 help@nspcc.org.uk

NB – The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures are available via the following links–

http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/safeguarding

http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/safeguarding/reporting-concerns

The policy outlines in detail what to do if you are concerned about the welfare of a child and includes a short film. 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:

  • The County Football Association’s Child Protection Officer, details above.
  • Online Disclosure Criminal Records Checks on 0845 210 8080
  • NSPCC Child Protection 24-Hour Helpline 0808 800 5000
  • Eleanor Rowlands – Upton JFC Club Welfare Officer or Sue Terry Assistant Club Welfare Officer at welfareuptonjfc@gmail.com

1 The FA’s policy on Disclosure and Barring Service CRCs is subject to change. CRC information and guidance can be found at

http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/safeguarding/criminal-record-checks

Reviewed and Updated: June 2018