Club Welfare Policies


Welfare policies that follow are all based upon current best practice documents and policy issued by The FA.   


Full FA policies can be found at www.TheFA.com/football safe


Tunbridge Wells Yout FC and Tunbridge Wells Ladies FC have appointed a Club Welfare Officer.  The Club Welfare Officer is Carrie Challingsworth Tel 07835 251851  Email challingsworth@btopenworld.comPolicies

 

i) Child Protection Policy

ii) RESPECT Codes of Conduct

iii) Anti- Bullying Policy

iv) Equality Policy

v) Communications Policy

vi) The use of Changing Rooms and Showering Policy

vii) Celebrating Football through Photographs and Video

viii) Recruitment Policy

ix) Club Complains Procedure

 


i) Child Protection Policy


The Club has adopted The FA's Child Protection Policy

1) The Club 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 child protection and best practice policy and procedures and endorse and adopt the policy statement contained in that document.


2) The key principles of the FA Child Protection Policy are that:

  • The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.
  • 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.
  • 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.


3) 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. The Club recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.


4) 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 child protection regulation applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or volunteer, match official, helper on club tour, football coach, Club official or medical staff.


We endorse and adopt the FA’s Child Protection and Best Practice Guidelines for Recruiting Volunteers and will:

Develop a role profile.

  • Request identification documents
  • As a minimum meet and chat with the applicant(s) and where possible conduct interviews before appointment.
  • Request and follow up with two references before appointing
  • Require an FA CRB Unit 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 a CRB Enhanced Disclosure via the FA CRB Unit. If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved, or who has approached us to became part of 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 CRB Unit Enhanced CRB Disclosure 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 to minimise the risk of ‘grooming’ within football.


5) The Club supports the FA’s ‘whistle blow’ policy. Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague can ‘whistle blow’ by contacting The FA Child Protection Manager on 0207 745 4771, by writing to the FA Case Manager at the Football Association, 25 Soho Square, London W1D 4FA or by the NSPCC. The Club  encourages everyone to know about it and utilise it if necessary.


6) The Club has appointed a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in line with the FA’s role profile and required completion of the child protection and best practice workshop. The post holder (details below) will be involved with designated person’s training provided by the FA. The CWO is the first point of contact for all club members and parents or guardians regarding concerns for the welfare of any child or young person. They will liaise directly with the CFA CPO and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. They will also play a proactive role in increasing an awareness of poor practice and abuse amongst club members.


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 committee or, in cases of serious bullying contact the CFA CPO.


8) 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 CFA in more serious circumstances. All prospective members will be informed of these codes.


9) Further advice on Child Protection matters can be obtained from:

•The Kent County Football Association’s Child Protection

Officer, Val Hajialexandra

•The FA/NSPCC Child protection 24 Hour Helpline 0808 800 5000

•www.theFA.com/goal

•The FA Child Protection Team


Club Welfare Officer Details (Tunbridge Wells Youth FC & Tunbridge Wells Ladies FC)


Name: Mrs Carrie Challingsworth

Tel: 07835 251851

Email: challingsworth@btopenworld.com



ii) RESPECT Codes Of Conduct


iii) Anti- Bullying Policy

iv) Equality Policy


The aim of this policy is to ensure that all members of the community are treated fairly and with respect and that The Club is equally accessible to all.


Our commitment is to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability and to encourage equal opportunities.


Equality at The Club means that in all our activities we will not discriminate, or in any way treat anyone less favorably, on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, marital status race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability.  It means that we will ensure that we treat people fairly and with respect and that we will provide access and opportunities for all members of the community to take part in, and enjoy our activities.  And it means that we will not sanction any action, or lack of action, which might disadvantage a member compared to other people for any reason related to the list above.


The Club will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimization of any individual (which for the purposes of this policy will be regarded as discrimination).  This includes sexual or racially based harassment or other discriminatory behavior, whether physical or verbal.  The Club will work to ensure that such behavior is met with appropriate action in whatever context it occurs.


The Club commits itself to the immediate investigation of any claims of discrimination on the above grounds and where such is found to be the case, a requirement that the practice stops and sanctions be imposed, as appropriate.



v) Club Communications Policy


This policy is provided not as an obstacle, but to support adult members in managing their safeguarding responsibilities effectively when communicating with members.  It aims to ensure that children, young people, coaches, referees and adults in positions of trust are not subjected to improper allegations.


It is important to remember that Children and young people are all those under the age of 18.


Coaches, club officials and others in a position of trust need to act responsibly both on and off the field and this includes all forms of communications, including electronic communications.


Emails and Texts

DO:

  • It is the policy of The Club that all emails and texts are sent to parents.  We recognise that members of the older teams may wish to receive communication themselves.  Before any direct communication with any junior member can take place via email or TXT written consent from parents/ carers must be obtained.
  • It is best practice to only use group txt’s or emails, and any communication to a young person must be copied to the parent/career or via email to
  • club@tunbridgewellsyouth.com   TXT messages should be sent to 07835 251851 
  • Txt’s and emails should only be sent in relation to specific club related activities e.g. informing young people about training, matches etc
  • Report to the Club Welfare Officer any instance(s) where you have received any inappropriate communications from a young person.  The Club Welfare Officer will then agree what action the club will take, notifying parents/ carers and any other appropriate individuals or agencies.
  • Send all emails from the club website – to clearly identify the email as coming from The Club

Don’t

  • Use Txt or emails for personal conversation, sending pictures, jokes or other items of a personal nature
  • Respond to emails from young people other than those directly related to club matters. 
  • Use language that is directly (or could be misinterpreted as being) racist, sexist, derogatory, threatening, abusive or sexualized in tone.


Responsible use of Social Networking sites


Currently the club has a controlled twitter account:- access is controlled by the chairman.  The club does not operate at this stage a club facebook account.


Should the club decide at any stage to open a facebook account, in line with the best practice guidelines from The FA this will be opened in the name of the club and explicitly for use by named club members, parents and careers solely about football matters.  The account will be controlled by a named official and will be monitored.


Coaches and other members are explicitly forbidden from setting up team Facebook/ twitter (or other similar online social networking accounts)


The Club does not believe, as a general principle that social networking sites should be used as a primary method of communication with players.


Unless a child/ young person is a direct relation, the coaches, managers, referees, medics and club officals should not


  • Accept as a friend, players or referees U18 on social networking sites they are members of or share their own personal social networking sites with children or young people involved in youth football.
  • Make contact with children or young people known through football outside of the football context on social networking sites
  • Use internet or web based communications to send personal messages of a non football nature to a child or young person
  • Engage in any personal communications, “banter” or comments.



vi) The use of Changing Rooms and Showering


The Club, recognize that teams will encounter differing arrangements and quality of facilities when undertaking away matches.


The following guidance advises on best practice arrangements for the use of changing rooms and showering.


It is the policy of The Club that wherever possible players should be encouraged to come arrive at games already changed, wearing suitably warm clothing, e.g. tracksuits etc and shower at home after games.


Where changing rooms and showing provisions are provided and used the following apply


1) Where facilities are used by both adults and children at the same time there must be access to separate changing, showering and toilet areas.

2) Adult staff/ volunteers must not change or shower at the same time as children and young people using the same facilities.

3) For mixed gender activities, separate facilities must be available for boys and girls.

4) When children use changing rooms, they should be supervised by two members of staff/ volunteers.  Older teenagers may not require any supervision, however two appropriately recruited adults must be in the vicinity of the changing facilities to ensure their welfare is monitored.

5) If a child feels uncomfortable changing or showing in public then no pressure should be placed on them to do so.  Instead, they should be encouraged to do so at home.

6) In the case of children with disabilities, ensure that parents/ careers are involved in deciding how they should be assisted.  Make sure the child or young person is able to consent to the assistance that is offered.

7) The use of mobile phones and/or photographic equipment by club officials/ members, parents and young people is prohibited within areas where children and young people are changing/ showering.


The FA wishes to acknowledge that it has incorporated guidance provided by the CPSU in developing this best practice document.



vii) Celebrating Football through Photographs and Video


The Club would like to reassure parents , carers, coaches , spectators, players and local media that we encourage the taking of appropriate images of children in football.


Potential Risks

This policy has been developed by the FA in order to avoid the following

  • The inappropriate use, adaption or copying of images for use on child abuse websites on the Internet (often incorrectly referred to as pornography sites)
  • The identification of children when a photograph is accompanied by significant personal information that will assist a third party in identifying the child. This can lead, and has led, to children being groomed.
  • The identification and locating of children in inappropriate circumstances which include
  • Where a child has been removed from his/ her family for their own safety
  • Where restrictions on contact with one parent following a parental separation exist e.g. in domestic violence cases
  • In situations where a child may be a witness in criminal proceedings
  • Other safeguarding concerns.


It is important to remember that the majority of images taken are appropriate and taken in good faith.  By following this policy we help to ensure the safety of children in football.


The Club will

  • Share the FA’s guidance on taking images with all parents, carers and members via its website and make printed copies available upon request
  • Ensure that the club has parental consent to use a player’s image if it is to be used in the public domain.  This is covered on the annual membership form where both player and parent agree to the following Section
  • “At times the Club may wish to take photos or videos of the team or individuals in it.
  • We adhere to the FA guidelines (which can be found at www.theFA.com) to ensure these are safe and respectful and used solely for the purposes for which they are intended, which is promoting and celebrating the club and for training.

I give permission for images to be used (delete as applicable)

  • On the clubs website and on the clubs social media  channels
  • On printed material within the club
  • For submission and to local media (this may include use online and in print)”


  • Ensure that any child in our club who is under care proceedings, is protected by ensuring that their image is not placed in the public domain.
  • Focus on the activity rather than the individual
  • Ensure that all those featured are appropriately dressed (a minimum of vest or shirt and shorts)
  • Aim to take pictures which represent the broad range of youngsters participating safely in football.


Members of The Club will not

  • Publish photographs with the full name(s) of the individual(s) featured without the full written consent of parents who will be informed as to how the image will be used.
  • Use player profiles with pictures and detailed information on the websites
  • Use an image for something other that which it was initially agreed
  • Allow images to be recorded in the changing rooms, showers or toilets – this includes the use of mobile phones that record images.


Filming as a coaching aid


The FA advises that coaches using videoing as a legitimate coaching aid should make parents/ carers and players aware that this is part of the coaching programme.

Coaches at The Club will also notify parents in advance of any session in advance, when filming is being used.


General points

  • It is not an offence to take appropriate photographs in a public place, even if asked not to do so.
  • No one has the right to decide who can and can not take images on public land.
  • If you have serious concerns about a possible child protection issue relating to the recording of images then call the police.  This action should only be taken where you believe that someone may be acting unlawfully or putting a child at risk.
  • The land or facility owner can decide whether or not photography and or videoing at football activities will be permitted on private land.  However this decision must be communicated in advance.  If they do not comply then you may request that they leave.
  • Try not to use images that include players wearing jewellery as this is contrary to the laws of the game as well as being a health and safety issue.


If you are unsure please contact the Club Welfare Officer Carrie Challingsworth  Mob: 07835 251851 or email challingsworth@btopenworld.com


Communicating responsibly with Young Leaders, Coaches and Referees U18


The Club recognis that many young people play a significant role as young leaders, coaches, medics and referees.  Their leadership role could create additional vulnerability if we do not ensure communications and interactions with adults are carried out appropriately both on and off the field and in the online environment.

It is important to remember that they are not “adults” and as such we have a responsibility to safeguard them.


Referees/coaches contact details

Mobile phone and email contact details for coaches and referees under the age of 18 should not be hosted on webpages that can be accessed by the general public.  Instead they must be held securely and displayed within private areas for the purpose of the activities they undertake, with the written permission of their parent/ carer.


All communication must be in line with the recommendations for email texting and guidelines for social media  previously outlined in this policy.



viii) Recruitment policy


The Club is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all its members.  The club relies exclusively on volunteers to provide its services.


The club, along with the FA recognise that the intentions of  most people who work with children and young people in football are good, but in recognizing its responsibilities to the safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people have adopted the following recruitment and selection process. 


1) Application Form


Regardless of how the volunteer or employed coach has been identified/ recruited, all applicants should complete the clubs application form.


Application forms should in the first instance be submitted to the Welfare Officer

Carrie Challingsworth

Old School House,

Langton

Tunbridge Wells

Kent

TN3 9SS

email: challingsworth@btopenworld.com


2) Meeting


Following receipt of the application form, at least two members of the club management committee should meet with the applicant to discuss their application.

The meeting should be as informal as possible to allow the applicant to feel at ease, and should be used as an  opportunity to discuss the application and reasons for wanting to get involved etc.

Whilst it is important to gain information on an applicant’s technical ability, it is also necessary to explore their attitudes and commitment to child welfare.


3) References


The Welfare officer will follow up / request references from the referees named on the application form.

One reference should be from the applicants place of work and the second should demonstrate their ability and suitability to work with children.



ix) Club Complaints Procedure


In the event that any member feels that he or she has suffered discrimination in any way or that the Club Policies, Rule or Code of Conduct have been broken, they should follow the procedures below:


1) They should report the matter to the Club Secretary, Club Chairman or Child Welfare Officer.

The report should include

  • Details of what, when and where the occurrence took place
  • Any witness statement and names
  • Names of any others who have been treated in a similar way
  • Details of any former complaints made about the incident, date, when and to whom made
  • A preference for a solution to the incident.

2) The Club’s Management Committee will sit for any hearings that are requested .

3) The Clubs Management Committee recognise the sensitive nature of any complaints and respect confidentiality, but will consult with relevant third parties such as County FA, County Welfare Officer, League Officers as applicable, for guidance or onward referral of cases.

4) The Clubs Management committee will have the power to :

  • Warn as to future conduct
  • Suspend from membership
  • Remove from membership and person found to have broken the Club’s Policies or Codes of Conduct.