Following FA guidelines all grassroots has been postponed until further notice, we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy during these difficult and unprecedented times.

Child Welfare

Safeguarding

South Woodham Ferrers United Football Club acknowledges it’s 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.
South Woodham Ferrers United Football Club subscribe to The Football Association’s Safeguarding Children – Policy and Procedures and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document.
*Communication from the FA in reaction to the recent disclosures of child abuse within football:

Key Principles

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/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.

South Woodham Ferrers United Football Club recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club

Our Role

We have 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 (see The FA Handbook) applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.

This means whether you are a volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.

We endorse and adopt The FA’s Responsible Recruitment guidelines for recruiting volunteers and we:

  • Have developed a role profiles.
  • Request identification documents.
  • As a minimum meet and chat with the applicant(s) and where possible conduct interviews before appointing.
  • Request and follow up with two references before appointing.
  • Require an FA DBS-CRC Unit Enhanced Disclosure where appropriate in line with FA guidelines

All current South Woodham Ferrers United Football Club members who are regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of children and young people will be required to complete a DBS-CRC Enhanced Disclosure via The FA. If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of FA Charter Standard 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 DBS-CRC 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.

Whistle Blowing

South Woodham Ferrers United Football 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 Team on 0207 745 4787, by writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, 25 Soho Square, W1D 4FA, or alternatively by going direct to the Police, Children’s Services or the NSPCC.

We encourage everyone to know about it and utilise it if necessary.

We have appointed a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion of the Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officers Workshop. The post holder will be involved with Welfare Officer training provided by The FA and/or CFA.

FA Safeguarding Policy

The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures are available via the FA website, further advice on Safeguarding Children can be obtained from:

  • The FA website
  • County Football Association’s Welfare Officer: Helen Hever
  • T: 01245 393098
  • E: helen.hever@essexfa.com
  • The FA Safeguarding Children enquiry line 0845 210 8080
  • Emailing – Footballsafe@TheFA.com
Child Welfare Officer

We have appointed a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion of the Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officers Workshop. The post holder will be involved with Welfare Officer training provided by The FA and/or CFA.

Contact: Mike Warren
E: mike.warren@swfu.co.uk

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, Rules or Code of Conduct have been broken they should follow the procedures below. South Woodham Ferrers United takes all complaints very seriously and will investigate each reported incident, as appropriate.

  1. They should report the matter to a member of the committee. Contact details can be found on the South Woodham Ferrers United website. Note: If your compliant is urgent and involves the wellbeing of a child, please contact Mike Warren, Club Welfare Officer via email mike.warren@swfu.co.uk
  2. Your report should include:
    1. Details of what, when and where the occurrence took place.
    2. Any witness statements and names
    3. Names of any others who have been treated in a similar way
    4. Details of any former complaints made about the incident, date, when and to whom made
    5. A preference for a solution to the incident
  3. The complaint shall be reviewed by the most appropriate members of the committee and all parties shall be given a fair hearing. If required, the committee shall protect the anonymity of any involved party.
  4. The Club’s Management Committee will sit for any hearings that are requested. This may include invited members of the respective league or County FA, should the matter necessitate.
    1. The Club’s Management Committee will have the power to:
    2. Warn as to future conduct
    3. Suspend from membership
    4. Remove from membership; any person found to have broken the club’s policies or Codes of Conduct
  5. The Club’s Management Committee decision shall be final and no appeals process will be implemented.

Anti-bullying

South Woodham Ferrers United Football Club is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all its members so they can participate in football in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at the Club.

If bullying does occur, all club members or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively – “we are a TELLING club”. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the Club Welfare Officer or any Committee Member.

What is bullying?

It is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.

Bullying can be:

  • Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), sending hurtful text messages and tormenting, (e.g. hiding football boots/shin guards, threatening gestures)
  • Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
  • Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  • Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
  • Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
  • Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
No One deserves to be a victim

Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Individuals who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. This club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:

  • Says they are being bullied
  • Is unwilling to go to club sessions
  • Becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
  • Feels ill before training sessions
  • Comes home with clothes torn or training equipment damaged
  • Has possessions go “missing”
  • Asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the bully)
  • Has unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Is frightened to say what’s wrong
  • Gives improbable excuses for any of the above
  • Starts stammering
  • Cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
  • Is bullying other children or siblings
  • Stops eating
  • Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away

These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

Club Procedures

Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare Officer or a member of the clubs committee or contact the County FA Welfare Officer.

  • In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be referred to the County FA Welfare Officer for advice and possibly to The FA Case Management Team.
  • Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
  • If necessary and appropriate, the police will be consulted.
  • The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly.
  • An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour.
  • If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the club will initiate disciplinary action
Recommended Action

If the club decides it is appropriate to deal with the situation, the following procedure will be followed:

  • Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem.
  • If this fails/not appropriate a small panel from the Club Committee including the Club Welfare Officer will meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to get details of the allegation. Minutes will be taken for clarity, which will be agreed by all as a true account.
  • The same panel will meet with the alleged bully and parent/s and put the incident raised to them to answer and give their view of the allegation. Minutes will again be taken and agreed.
  • If bullying has in the panel’s view taken place the individual will be warned and put on notice of further action i.e. temporary or permanent suspension if the bullying continues. Consideration will be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time.
  • In some cases the parent of the bully or bullied player can be asked to attend training sessions, if they are able to do so, and if appropriate. The club committee will monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not being repeated.
  • All coaches involved with both individuals will be made aware of the concerns.
  • In the case of adults reported to be bullying anyone within the Club under the age of 18, The County FA Welfare Officer will always be informed and will advise on action to be taken where appropriate

Child Welfare Officer

information to be supplied