Updated: 23rd February 2023
Approved at AGM: 6th July 2023

Coton Football 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 adopt The Football Association’s Grassroots Football Safeguarding Children Policy & Procedures (PDF to be found at the bottom of Football’s Safeguarding Framework page – link accurate as of February 2023) and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document.

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, race, sexual orientation, faith or belief
  • 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.

Coton Football 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 FA Safeguarding Children Regulations (PDF to be found at the bottom of Football’s Safeguarding Framework page – link accurate as of February 2023) applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity, volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.

We endorse and adopt The FA’s Safer Recruitment of Volunteer guidelines (see PDF at the bottom of Safer Recruitment and DBS Checks page – link accurate as of February 2023) and we will:

  • specify what the role is and what tasks it involves
  • request identification documents
  • as a minimum meet and chat with the applicant(s) and where possible interview people before appointing them
  • ask for and follow up with 2 references before appointing someone
  • where eligible require an FA accepted Enhanced Criminal Record Check (CRC) with Barring List Check in line with current FA policy and regulations.

All current Coton Football Club members working in eligible roles, with children and young people – such as managers and coaches are required to hold an in-date FA accepted Enhanced DBS with Barring List check as part of responsible recruitment practice. Additional training and certification may be required, as specified by 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 Coton Football 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 DBS Process and that all suitability decisions will be made in accordance with legislation and 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.

Coton Football Club supports The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy (see Whistle Blowing Policy) and encourages everyone to know about it and to utilise it if necessary.

Coton Football Club has appointed a Club Welfare Officer (see Welfare page) in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion appropriate level of training for their role, as determined by the FA. The Club Welfare Officer should be the first point of contact for all club members regarding concerns about the welfare of any child or young person. The Club Welfare Officer will liaise directly with the Cambridgeshire FA (CFA) Welfare Officer and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. They will also play a proactive role in increasing awareness of Respect and the identification of poor practice and abuse amongst club members.

We acknowledge and endorse The FA’s identification of bullying as a category of abuse. See our Anti-Bullying Policy.

Respect codes of conduct for Players, Parents, Spectators, Officials and Coaches have been implemented by Coton Football Club – see Respect Code of Conduct. Any incidents will be handled under the the Club’s Complaints Policy.

Reporting your concerns about the welfare of a child or young person. Safeguarding 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. In the first instance, you should report your concerns to the Club Welfare Officer. It should not be the responsibility of the person who has the concern to investigate or validate the concern themselves. If necessary, please contact the Police or Children’s Social Care – see the Welfare page for more information.

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 the Club Welfare Officer know what action you have taken, they in turn will inform the Cambridgeshire’s FA Welfare Officer.

As part of the membership application process, the Club seeks medical information concerning its junior members. This information will be provided to Manager / Coach in a sealed envelope to kept securely with the medical kit and to be available to be opened at all sessions, should the need arise.

For Junior members, parents may, at their discretion, permit the Club representatives to act medically on their behalf.

Further advice on Safeguarding Children matters can be obtained from:

  • the Club’s Welfare Officer
  • the Cambridgeshire FA Welfare Officers
  • the FA’s Safeguarding Team

The contact details for all the above can be found on the Welfare page.