Safe-guarding children policy

AFC Wandsworth 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 subscribe to The Football Association’s (The FA) Safeguarding Children – Policy and Procedures and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document.

The key principles

  • 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, disablity, race, sexual orientation, faith or belief
  • all suspicians or allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and will be responded to swiftly and appropriately
  • working in partnership with other organisations children and young people and their parents/carers is essential

We acknowledge that every child or young person who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse. AFC Wandsworth recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.

AFC Wandsworth 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 Football Association’s Safeguarding Children Regulations (see The FA Handbook) applies to everyone in football whether in a paid  or voluntary capacity. This means whether you are a volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.

We endorse and adopt the FA’s Responsible Recruitment guidelines for recruiting volunteers and we will:

  • Specify what the role is and what tasks it involves
  • Request identification document
  • 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
  • Require an FA CRB Enhanced Disclosure where appropriate in line with FA policy

All current AFC Wandsworth Football Club Members who are regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of children and young people will be required to complete a CRB Enhanced Disclosure via The FA CRB Unit.

If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of AFC Wandsworth 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 FA CRB Unit. Enhanced Disclosure and that all decisions will be made in the 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.

AFC Wandsworth has appointed a Club Welfare Officer in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion of the Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officers Workshop. The post holder will be involved with Welfare Officer training provided by The FA and/or County FA. The Club Welfare Officer is 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 County 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, poor practice and abuse amongst club members.

We acknowledge and endorse The FA’s identification of bullying as a category of abuse. Bullying of any kind  is not  acceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all players or parents/carers should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt  with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to the Club Welfare Officer in cases of serious  bullying the CFA Welfare Officer may be contacted.

Respect codes of  conduct for Players, Parents/ Spectators, Officials and Coaches have been implemented by AFC Wandsworth Football Club. In order to validate these Respect codes of conduct the club has clear actions it will take regarding repeated or serious misconduct at club level and acknowledges the possibility of potential sanctions which may be implemented by the County FA in more serious  circumstances.

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.

  1. If you are worried about a child  then  you need to report your  concerns to the Club Welfare Officer.
  2. If the issue is one of poor practice the Club Welfare Officer will either deal with the matter themselves or seek advice from the CFA Welfare Officer
  3. If the concern is more  serious  – possible child abuse, where possible, contact the CFA  Welfare Officer first, then immediately contact the Police or Children’s Social Care.
  4. If the child needs immediate medical treatment take them to hospital or to a hospital or call an ambulance and tell them this is a child protection concern, Let your Club Welfare Officer know what action you have taken, they in turn will inform the CFA Welfare Office.
  5. If at any time you are unable to contact your Club Welfare Officer or the matter is clearly serious then you can either contact your CFA Welfare Officer directly; or contact the Police of Children’s Social Care or call the NSPCC helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or text on 88858 or email on

NB. The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures are available via – Click on ‘Downloads’ under Policies and Procedures. The policy outlines in detail what to do if you are concerned about the welfare of a child  and includes flow diagrams which describe this process.  How  to make a referral is also covered in the Safeguarding Children workshop. Participants are given  the opportunity to discuss how  this feels and how  best they can prepare themselves to deal with such a situation. For more  information on this workshop contact your County Welfare Officer.

If you have any specific concerns please contact AFC Wandsworth’s Welfare officer, Patricia Pace on 07729 341 179.

Alternatively you can contact the County Football Association’s Welfare Officer, Jackie Newing on 020 8733 2613.

Refer also to or you can email or ring the FA Safeguarding Children general enquiries line on 0845 210 8080