Club Welfare Officer

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LET’S MAKE FOOTBALL SAFE – NOT SORRY. The FA and Leicestershire & Rutland County FA are committed to ensuring that all children involved in the game are able to enjoy their football in a safe and fun environment.

Safeguarding children is about doing things the right way and doing things properly. That means there is no place for bullying, neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse in football at any level.

Football can have a powerful and positive influence on children but that means everyone involved in football must take on the responsibility of looking after those children, whether they are involved in the game as a player, spectator, coach or referee.

The key principles for ensuring children are safe in football are:

•    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.

It is estimated that 4million children are involved in football in the UK and providing opportunities for those children are over 500,000 volunteers in clubs and leagues. Grassroots football would not exist without the many thousands of volunteers involved today. Ensuring that we encourage those individuals that are suitable for the many roles football has to offer, is essential.

Remember that a friendly, well run club is more likely to be successful in encouraging additional volunteers. Therefore all reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children and young people. Sound recruitment and selection procedures will help to screen out those who are not suitable to work in football.

For information on FA DBS (formerly known as CRB) and other recruitment ideas please contact Matt Wright County Welfare Officer on 0116 284 5936 or your Club Welfare Officer.

All Clubs with junior teams must now show a commitment to Safeguarding by having a Club Welfare Officer. The appointed person will work with the management committee to ensure all the necessary safeguarding policies and procedures are in place this includes a Child Protection Policy, Anti-Bully, Travel and Transport guidance and the Respect Codes of Conduct.

The Club Welfare Officer is a point of contact for any concerns that you may have in relation to child welfare. A Link to the FA’s Codes of Conduct can be found by clicking here.

Club Welfare Officer

All leagues and clubs with youth teams must have a named Welfare Officer who has an enhanced FA CRB certificate and has completed the FA Safeguarding Children and the FA Welfare Officers Workshop.

It is important that all clubs and leagues understand these requirements because if you don't, you will not be allowed to affiliate.

New clubs will be given the time and the opportunity to have temporary welfare officers whilst their own club official under goes the necessary training.

Clubs should consider whether the number of Welfare Officers they have is adequate for the number of teams they have. In Leicestershire & Rutland we recommend that Assistant Welfare Officers be appointed for clubs with over 10 teams as per The FA's best practice guidelines.

Building a Support Network

  • CWO - Every junior club must have a Club Welfare Officer
  • YLWO - Every junior league must have a Youth League Welfare Officer
  • CFAWO - Every County FA also has a County Welfare Officer
  • Case Management - The FA have a Safeguarding Team
  • RDO - Every County FA has a Referee Development Manager who will work with the CFAWO
  • NSPCC Helpline - A free, 24 hour service which provides advice to anyone worried about a child 0808 800 5000 alternatively you can text 88858

Remember:

It is not our responsibility to decide if abuse has taken place but if we have concerns is is our responsibility to act and report those concerns.

For more information on becoming a Welfare Officer or about the role, please contact:

Matt Wright 
County Welfare Officer
E: Matthew.Wright@LeicestershireFA.com  
T: 0116 284 5936
M: 07983 167 430

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