Safeguarding Children in Junior Football
In 2001 the English FA introduced the FA Charter Standard, awarded to clubs and leagues rigorously adjudged to be well-run and sustainable, prioritising child protection, quality coaching and implementation of the FA Respect programme.
The Standard mandates that coaching for each team with players under the age of 18 has to be led by an FA Qualified Coach.
As part of completing the FA Level One Coaching Award a coach also has to complete a Safeguarding Children awareness session and an FA Emergency First Aid training session and these two certifications have to be renewed every three years. In cases when a new “grass-root team” starts up, a temporary unqualified coach has to be approved by their County FA with a commitment to obtain the qualification within a limited period.
It is also a Legal requirement that ALL adults who participate in football activities where young people under the age of 18 are involved, such as coaches and assistant coaches, must first obtain a Criminal Records Check (CRC) carried out by the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS), and must renew this check every three years. This used to be known as “CRB check”.
Garforth Rangers Football Club have clear processes and procedures that Team Managers sign up to follow. Team Managers are held accountable for enforcing the Legal requirements at team level and if a coach or team assistant allows their certification to reach its expiry date they are suspended from activities involving the players until such time as they obtain a renewed certificate.
Garforth Rangers further demonstrate strong commitment to Safeguarding Children by having not one but two Club Welfare Officers (CWO) – Stephen Shippey and Darren Senior – and also implement a best practice approach by ensuring girls teams have a designated female adult chaperone if there are no female coaches on the team.
Any welfare concerns should be reported to the team manager in the first instance. If the team manager can resolve the issue he/she will, or will seek guidance from their assigned CWO. If anyone would feel uncomfortable about reporting a concern to the team manager, for whatever reason, then contact should be made directly with either of our Club Welfare Officers who have been trained to follow FA Safeguarding Children guidelines to handle welfare concerns.
In light of recent reports (November 2016) of abuse against young male footballers in the 1970s and 1980s, it is hoped that changes made since those eras by the FA and adopted across all levels of football will safeguard young people for years to come.
We hope this note provides assurance that Garforth Rangers treat the welfare of young people very seriously and are committed to create a safe and enjoyable experience for all our members.