As a coach you will come into contact with young players on a regular basis and therefore you have a responsibility to ensure that your players are protected from any form of poor pratcice or abuse. Your players have the right to feel safe and you will play a crucial role in providing a positive environment and ensuring enjoyment is the main factor.
Its also important to recognise that whilst abuse may not occur in your football environment, there may be signs that a player is experiencing abuse elsewhere, such as at home or at school etc. There may also be signs that a player is struggling in other areas, such as their mental health and you could be the difference in a player receiving the help they need or not. Therefore its important that you take time to understand your players and also any signs you should look out for.
A player may also make a disclosure and it is important to understand how you should respond and what action you should take. It is not your responsibility to investigate, however it is your responsibility to respond, record and report.
To understand your responisbilities, we advise that you read over the FAW Safeguarding Policy, Practices and Procedures as this covers the following:
The FAW have also developed a Coach Code of Conduct that sets out clear expectations around behaviour. Your club may provide you with a copy of the Code of Conduct and request that you sign this, however if it is not provided by the club, this can be found under the coach section. Its important that you take the time to read this as your players will look up to you as a leader and role model.
Please also take the time to read over our Best Practice Guidelines as these will prepare you to deal with different scenarios, such as communication with players, dealing with challenging behaviour, away trips, photography, etc.
Whilst it is not compulsory for you to complete the FAW Safeguarding Award, if you would like to complete the award, please click on the following link FAW Safeguarding Award.
The course is a three-hour online workshop and once completed, you will be issued with a Safeguarding certificate. The course costs £40 to complete and this is valid for three years.
Please contact your club, League or Area Safeguarding Officer or a member of the FAW Safeguarding team if you require any guidance or advice.