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Safeguarding Requirements In Adult Football
The following message was Emailed by the LFA on 3/02/2023
Dear League Secretary/ Colleagues
I am re-circulating the below as an important reminder to Leagues & Clubs with adult provision or have plans for future adult provision.
Please can you liaise with your clubs at every opportunity, so that they are fully aware of their on – going responsibilities with regard to Safeguarding.
The clubs with adult provision should have already received this information, however we need to emphasis the importance of these requirements!
I have also copied in youth Leagues as many of your clubs will have adult provision.
We would urge clubs and your League to raise these important requirements below, for safeguarding at their meetings and place this as a regular “Agenda item” at forthcoming meetings for Leagues and clubs.
As you are doubtless aware, the requirements for adult clubs with regards to the above will be gradually introduced over the next two seasons. This follows a review of safeguarding in open-age football by the FA and an acknowledgment that we have a significant number of minors playing in adult leagues, but also have players and volunteers who may identify as adults at risk at any given time. Prior to Christmas, we wrote to all adult clubs, affiliated to us, to explain that in order to affiliate for the 2023-24 season they will need to name a club welfare officer(Open Age) on their application although, at that stage, no qualifications will be needed for that person to be named. We have encouraged clubs to consider finding somebody with the appropriate expertise or experience to fill this role although we readily acknowledge that in some cases it will be difficult to identify such a person.
During the course of the 2023-24 season we will be communicating to clubs again, to ensure that the CWO(Open Age) applies for an FA DBS (if eligible) and completes the FA Player Welfare course once it becomes available. Whilst the welfare course will be free, there is a cost of ten pounds per DBS application for those who are deemed eligible. This also extends to coaches and managers in these teams who we will be encouraging to apply for a DBS as soon as possible, where we identify minors currently listed in their squads.
We appreciate that a large number of clubs with junior sections will already have a volunteer in-situ, but we have asked them to check that this person is willing to cover the adult teams or whether additional resource might be required.
So as an open-age football league, what can you do to support this gradual enhancement of safeguarding and welfare?
Ensure that all League committee members complete the “FREE” Safeguarding for Committee Members training prior to the 2023-2024 season Course: Safeguarding Children for Committee Members (thefa.com)
We have received, thus far, a very small number of complaints regarding these measures but as we progress towards next season’s affiliation there may well be more resistance. Clearly it would be really helpful if our leagues could be unified in supporting what is, in most cases, a legal requirement. We will certainly be accentuating the message that the CWO role in adult clubs is not just about a safeguarding children responsibility, but also helping clubs in the promotion of positive mental health.
Should any of you have any questions, please direct them to Neil Yates or Chris Doherty and they will do all they can to answer them. In the meantime thanks for your ongoing support of our safeguarding work.
“Safeguarding in Football is everyone’s responsibility”.
Thank you for your on-going support in this critical area of safeguarding in Football.
Kind Regards, John Treacy