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Child Protection Policy

Child Protection Policy Statement

Sheen Lions Football Club (“the Club”) acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people (defined as any person under the age of 18) involved in football which it organises or which it supervises and is committed to working to provide them with a safe environment. The Club subscribes to The Football Association’s Child Protection Best Practice Policy and Procedures, Safeguarding Children and Young People in football (revised edition 2006) and endorses and adopts the Policy Statement contained in that document namely:

“Every child or young person, defined as any person under the age of 18, who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and should be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in football.

The FA recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. The FA is, therefore, committed to working to provide a safe environment for all children and young people to participate in the sport to the best of their abilities so long as they choose to do so”.

Key Principles

The key principles of this Child Protection Policy and that of the FA are that:

  1. The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration;
  2. All children and young people have the right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation;
  3. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
  4. Working in partnership with other organisations, children and young people and their parents/carers is essential.

Acknowledgement

The Club acknowledges that every child or young person who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse.  The Club recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in the Club.

Role

The 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.  It is noted and accepted that the Football Association’s Safeguarding Children Regulation (see FA Handbook) applies to all persons involved in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This includes those who are volunteers, match officials, helpers on club tours, football coaches, club officials or medical staff.

The Club endorses and will apply the Football Association’s Safeguarding Children Regulation and will treat any infraction of that regulation as misconduct which will be the subject of the Club’s disciplinary procedures in addition to any other procedures which may be undertaken by any other body or authority.

The Club also endorses and adopts the FA’s Child Protection and Best Practice Guidelines for Recruiting Volunteers and will:

  1. Develop a role profile;
  2. Request identification documents;
  3. As a minimum, meet and discuss with the applicants and where possible will conduct interviews before appointing;
  4. Request and follow up with 2 references before appointing;
  5. Require an FA Enhanced Disclosure where appropriate in line with FA Guidelines.

All current Club members with direct access to children and young people will be required to complete an Enhanced Disclosure via the FA.  If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached the Club to become an active member of the 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 FA Enhanced Disclosure Unit 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 young people and to minimise the risk of “grooming” within football.

Whistle Blowing

The Club supports the FA’s whistle blowing policy.  Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague can whistle blow by contacting the FA Child Protection Manager on 0207745 4912 or by writing to the FA Case Manager at the Football Association, 25 Soho Square, London W1D 4FA or by going direct to the police, social services or the NSPCC.  The Club encourages members to familiarise themselves with the FA whistle blowing policy and to utilise it if necessary.

Child Welfare Officer (CWO) 

The Club will appoint a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in line with the FA’s guidance as the appropriate profile for this role and following completion by the relevant individual of the FA Safeguarding Children Workshop. The Club Welfare Officer will be the first point of contact for all Club members and parents or guardians regarding concerns for the welfare of any child or young person.  The CWO will liaise directly with the County FA Child Protection Officer and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns.  The CWO will also play a proactive role in increasing an awareness of poor practice and abuse among Club members.

Bullying

The Club acknowledges and endorses the FA’s identification of bullying as a category of abuse.  Bullying of any kind is not acceptable at the Club.  If bullying does occur, all parents or parents or guardians should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly.  Incidents need to be reported to the Club Welfare Officer or alternatively in cases of serious bullying, contact may be made with the Surrey Youth & Under 21 League and/or County FA Child Protection Officers. 

Codes of Conduct

Codes of Conduct for players, parents or spectators, officials and coaches have been implemented by the Club. In order to validate these Codes of Conduct the Club has clear sanctions 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 prospective members will be informed of these Codes.

Further Advice

Further advice on safeguarding children matters can be obtained from:

  1. The Surrey County Football Association Child Protection Officer, whose details can be found in the County Handbook;
  2. The FA/NSPCC Child Protection 24 hour Helpline 0808 800 5000; 
  3. The FA Child Protection team 0207 745 4895.