Club Welfare Officers

All leagues and clubs with youth teams must have a named Welfare Officer, who has an 'accepted' DBS check via The FA CRB Unit and who has completed The FA Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officer Workshop.

As you know Respect is The Football Association's direct response to a clear message from the grassroots game.

We must improve standards of behaviour - on and off the field.

Parental behaviour is one of the main reasons why young players drop out of the game. Poor behaviour by coaches, parents and players towards referees means that thousands of officials are dropping out each season.

Respect is aimed at helping us all to work together to change the negative attitudes and unacceptable behaviour on the sidelines and on the pitch. It's a long-term commitment. As a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) you have the chance to make a significant contribution to creating positive change.

The role of the CWO is key to ensuring that Respect is understood, taken on board by the committee, coaches/managers members and supporters.

In order to assist you with this role we have provided information on:

•The role of the CWO
•Help and support for you
•Making sure everyone knows who you are
•Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility
•Training requirements for this role

Respect outlines for everyone from league official to player to parent to club official to coach and referee that a certain standard of organisation and behaviour is expected in football.

Respect is all about creating a fun, safe environment and its core principles work in tandem with Safeguarding Children.

THE ROLE OF THE CWO

Your two key responsibilities are:

1.    To be clear about the club's responsibilities when running activities for children and young people. This involves:

•Ensuring these responsibilities are well understood by others
•Working with the Youth League Welfare Officer (YLWO)
•Working with your CFA Welfare Officer
•Promoting The FA's Respect programme and helping to develop best-practice processes

2.    To help club personnel understand what their 'duty of care' towards children and young people actually means and entails on a day-to-day basis.

In order to carry out your responsibilities you need to follow these five simple steps

1.    Put in place...

•a safeguarding children policy and anti-bullying policy
•responsible recruitment processes including the taking up of references (getting the right people into the game)
•the Respect Codes

2.    Understand...

•what Respect aims to do
•the benefits of implementing the Respect codes
•the quick wins to be gained by using The FA's safeguarding children
•best practice guidance (e.g. Travel, Trips and Tournaments*, Photography guidelines*, Anti-bullying policy* and club safeguarding children policy template*)
•why certain roles require an Enhanced DBS check and how The FA DBS process works
•how to refer a concern about the welfare of a child

3.    Communicate with...

•club officials about Respect and its aims
•parents/spectators and get them to sign up to the Respect codes
•parents and new players by getting involved with running 'start of season' welcome sessions for members
•coaches and managers about the importance of being consistent role models for their players
•your YLWO - introduce yourself, find out how they can support you and let them know what you are doing to safeguard children in your club
•your CFA Welfare Officer if you need help or advice
•The FA by taking part in surveys, questionnaires, focus groups as and when asked

4.    Encourage...

•parents to complete the Respect education programme
•coaches, team managers, first aiders/medics to complete The FA's Safeguarding Children Workshop
•coaches and team managers to listen to their players thoughts, ideas and views
•the committee to make use of the designated spectator area at all games.

5.    Monitor...

•repeated incidents of poor behaviour and liaise with your committee (and where necessary YLWO or CFA Welfare Officer)
•compliance with Enhanced DBS checks through The FA DBS Unit for those who require one.

Click Here for information about DBS Checks

If you require any assistance with regards to Welfare and Safeguarding Children in football, please contact Shropshire FA County Welfare Officer, David Lewis, david.lewis@shropshirefa.com

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  • Saturday, 12 August 2017
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