All concerns, suspicions, allegations and disclosures must be taken seriously. Even if the incident occurs outside football but concerns a child/adult involved in football, this should still be reported to the FAW.
Concerns, suspicions, allegations, and disclosures come from two main sources:
The NSPCC have provided three simple directions to remember when a child is making a disclosure:
Its important to show and young people that whatever they want to share, you're ready to listen. It takes courage to come forward and the way in which you respond wii likely determine if the individual is willing to open up further.
If you are receiving information relating to a concern, allegation, suspicion or disclosure must not:
It’s important to record information as soon as possible and as accurately as possible. Information that needs to be passed to the Safeguarding Officer, FAW, Social Services or the Police must be as helpful as possible, hence the necessity for making a detailed record at the time of the concern, suspicion or disclosure.
Information should include the following:
Please make use of the SG1 Safeguarding Incident Referral Form or Accident/Incident Reporting Form (please see below).
Reporting the matter to the club Safeguarding Officer, FAW, police or Social Services department should not be delayed by attempts to obtain more information. Wherever possible, referrals telephoned to the Social Services department should be confirmed in writing.
Everyone has an obligation to report any concerns, suspicions, allegations, or disclosures relating to any child or adult involved in association football in Wales. The FAW also recognises that false concerns, allegations, suspicions, or disclosures can be made. However, they are rare, and a robust complaints/disciplinary procedure will always address these.
It is not the responsibility of anyone working under the auspices of the FAW in a paid or voluntary capacity, or those working in affiliated organisations, to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse of the abuse of trust is taking place. However, there is a responsibility to protect children in order that appropriate agencies can make enquiries and take the necessary action to protect them.
If you have concerns of abuse, or you have been made aware of concerns of abuse, please take/ensure your members take the following action:
The FAW Safeguarding Team are then responsible for liasing with the police or Social Services and also carrying out an investigation and ensuring the necessary safeguards are put in place. The case will also be referred to our Safeguarding Panel.
For low level concerns such as a concern regarding poor practice, in the first instance, we ask that this is submitted in writing to the Club Safeguarding Officer and the committee to enable them to investigate the matter further. The following details should be provided:
The Accident/Incident Reporting Form will ensure the necessary details are provided.
A club should request any necessary further information in writing and offer parties the chance to attend a Personal Hearing and appoint a panel for this.
The Panel could reach a variety of outcomes, including but not limited to:
Following the decision, the decision of the Club should be communicated in writing to all relevant parties. Parties should be offered the Right of Appeal to the decision in writing to the junior league.
What behaviour constitutes Poor Practice or Abuse?
Abuse is defined as the following 5 catergories: Physical, Sexual, Neglect, Emotional or Bullying.
Poor Practice relates to when the needs of children are not given priority, thus compromising their welfare. These can include excessive training, continuous preferental treatment, allowing concerning practice to go unnoticed, ridiculing children for making mistakes, ignorning health & safety guidelines, failing to adhere to codes of conduct, placing children in uncomfortable and vulnerable situations with adults.
It is vital that all concerns or suspicions of poor practice are recorded and reported, as we may only be able to distinguish between poor practice and abuse after collation of relevant information.
On occasions the nominated Safeguarding Officer may be informed of situations where there is uncertainty about whether the allegation constitutes abuse or not and therefore is unclear about what action to take. There may be circumstances where allegations are about poor practice rather than abuse but those responsible should always consult senior colleague and gain advice from Social Services, Police and the NSPCC (Help Line number: 0808 800 5000) if there is any doubt. This is because it may be just one of a series of instances which together cause concern. Alternatively please contact a member of the FAW Safeguarding Team.
The Police also have specially trained child protection teams who will give guidance and support, and deal with out of office enquiries when Social Services are not available.