Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. If you are involved in a club or league, which involves anyone under the age of 18 or thinking of setting up one, you need to ensure you have the correct safeguards in place to protect yourself, the organisation and the individuals involved.

Every affiliated club and league with youth teams must have in place a:

Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure

Welfare Officer who has an FA criminal records check (CRC) and completed the Safeguarding Children Workshop and Welfare Officer Workshop

Report Your Concerns

Safeguarding children 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.

1. If you are worried about a child then you need to report your concerns to the Club Welfare Officer.

2. If the issue is one of poor practice they will either:

Deal with the matter themselves or

Seek advice from the County FA Welfare Officer

3. If the concern is more serious - possible child abuse - where possible contact the County FA Welfare Officer first, then immediately contact the Police or Children's Services

4. 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

5. If at any time you are not able to contact your Club Welfare Officer or the matter is serious then you can either:

Contact your County FA Welfare Officer directly – Gill Shields on 0191 270 1166

Call The FA/NSPCC 24 hour Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000

Contact the Police or Children's Services

If you are a Youth League Welfare Officer then please report your concerns directly to your County FA Welfare Officer or follow the advice given in point 5 above.

Best Practice

One way in which clubs can create a safer environment is to introduce the Respect Programme and ensure club officials, parents and players sign up to Codes of Conduct. These require members to sign up to positively support, deliver and play football at your club. These will allow your club to put procedures in place to take action if negative behaviour against young people occurs.

Every club or league must have policies and procedures in place to deal with a concern about the welfare of a child or young person. The welfare officer must be clear about what procedures to follow and you will need to act quickly upon any concern raised. Equally, you will need to ensure that players, parents and officials all know how to raise a concern and to whom. We strongly recommend you make use of the ‘Club Safeguarding Children Policy’ template.

Further Information

To find out more about safeguarding issues surrounding the game as well as how to put in place an appropriate safeguarding policy please visit here you will find supporting documents concerning everything from planning trips away to advice on running a website.

Alternatively please feel free to utilise the supporting documentation below

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