The Guernsey Football Association take safeguarding extremely seriously, and with the new season in local football now underway for all ages, and the FA Safeguarding Weekend scheduled for 20th and 21st November, it is an opportune time to once again highlight the safeguarding policies, procedures and processes that exist in the sport.
“The Guernsey FA offers a range of safeguarding services and training to help create a safe and enjoyable football experience for everyone. We ensure safeguarding requirements are met as a requirement of club affiliation and England Accreditation, and we support clubs to maintain these standards. This includes making unannounced safeguarding visits to clubs to ensure good practice is consistent across the local game and monitoring daily safeguarding reports and data to identify potential issues. We also support club welfare officers through delivery of in-service training sessions and provide safeguarding information via the Guernsey FA website; https://www.guernseyfa.com/about/rules-and-regulations/safeguarding-and-welfare “
The on-going work to make the game as safe and enjoyable as possible is led by The FA, the game’s governing body in this country, which has produced the national game’s safeguarding strategy to protect people involved in the game. This work is delivered through County FAs such as ourselves in conjunction with leagues and clubs, with all local clubs operating youth and minis football retaining the FA England Football accreditation. This accreditation is a recognition that these clubs continue to meet the necessary safeguarding standards, which includes all coaches retaining a valid and in date Criminal Record Check (DBS), whilst every youth and minis team must currently (*) have at least one coach who has completed the Safeguarding Children Workshop.
In addition, each club has a designated Club Welfare Officer who has completed further enhanced training, and the senior club committee members are all required to complete a separate safeguarding course to ensure relevant procedures and policies are embedded within the club environment. Every club in the country must adhere to the policies which apply to them. If not, they face sanctions, including suspension from playing.
Policies include the mandatory appointment of a Club Welfare Officer(s) for every league or club with youth teams. There is also a requirement for specified club committee officers to complete the free online ‘Safeguarding for Committee Members’ course. While mandatory for specified officers, the course is open to anyone to raise their awareness of potential situations and how to deal with them.
Welfare Officers must have an FA-accepted Criminal Record Check (DBS), which has to be renewed every three years. They must also undertake regular FA-approved safeguarding training. With the club committee’s support, Welfare Officers ensure the appropriate checks and training are completed for anyone at the club working with children and young people under the age of 18.
For more information about safeguarding policies please access the links below;
In today’s world, safeguarding children and young people applies as much online as it does face-to-face. Part of the role of The FA as the game’s governing body is to offer guidance. We’re constantly looking to provide a supportive framework around everyone who participates in football, whatever their role. This guidance role clearly extends to the use of digital platforms in a football context. Such platforms include websites, email, mobile messaging and use of social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
Of course, these technologies have huge benefits. For example, it’s so much easier nowadays for a team or club to let its players know the times of training sessions, meet-ups and match venues. However, we have to recognise that digital platforms can be misused, with increased risks to children and young people. Football takes these risks extremely seriously. It’s with this in mind that a series of guidance notes have been developed, and could be found via the link below.
It’s essential that everyone involved in our great game makes informed decisions about how they use the internet, social media, mobile phone and email communications – particularly when children and young people are involved.
* From the start of the 2022/23 season, it will be a requirement for all youth team officials in regulated activity (coaches, managers, medics (including assistants) identified through the club portal / WGS record are required to have in date Safeguarding Children Course.