SAFEGUARDING

Child Welfare

The Cardiff & Vale Schools’ Football Association (CVSFA) in association with the Welsh Schools Football Association (WSFA), the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA), and the Football Association of Wales (FAW), recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people entrusted to its care by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm, poor practice, neglect, bullying and abuse. CVSFA is committed to working to provide a safe environment for all those who participate in any of our activities.

Every child or young person who plays or participates in sport should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse of any kind. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in that sport.

The key principles of the WSFA/ESFA and CVSFA’s Safeguarding Children Policy are:

  1. The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.

  2. All children and young persons have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

  3. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

  4. Working in partnership with other organisations, children and young persons and their parents or carers is essential.

The FAW’s Safeguarding Children Regulation applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. CVSFA ensures that all those teachers and volunteers who have direct contact with children will be subject to scrutiny in accordance with FAW guidelines. All are required to complete a CRB Enhanced Disclosure via the WSFA/ESFA/FAW CRB Unit.

CVSFA has adopted and published separate individual policies on Anti-Bullying and Discipline, and these should be read in conjunction with this Safeguarding Children Policy. A Code of Conduct for players, parents and spectators operates for all the Association’s games and will be published in every home match day programme.

 

CVSFA has in accordance with WSFA/ESFA/FAW policy appointed a Child Welfare Officer (AWO) who has attended the designated person’s training provided by the relevant sporting body. The CWO is Mathew Davies, to whom any concerns with regard to this policy should be referred. The CVSFA CWO is the first point of contact for children, parents or guardians regarding concerns for the welfare of any child. If appropriate, the CWO will liaise directly with the WSFA/ESFA or other Child Protection Officers who will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. The CWO will also play a proactive role in increasing an awareness of poor practice and abuse amongst all those actively involved with the CVSFA.

 

Anti-Bullying Statement of Intent

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable within Cardiff & Vale SFA. If bullying does occur, all squad members or parents can voice their concerns and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to inform the association’s Child Welfare Officer (CWO), or other CVSFA coaches.

What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression – either physical or emotional – with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim(s).

Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Individuals who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Bullying will not be tolerated within CVSFA and the Association recognises its responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to any issues of bullying.

Signs and Indicators
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:

  • says he or she is being bullied

  • is unwilling to attend training sessions, matches or other activities

  • becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence

  • feels ill before team activities

  • comes home with clothes torn or training equipment damaged

  • has possessions go “missing”

  • asks for money or starts stealing money

  • has unexplained cuts or bruises

  • is frightened to say what’s wrong

  • gives improbable excuses for any of the above

These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

In the event of bullying taking place:

  1. Any incidents of bullying should be reported to the team managers and / or CWO

  2. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying will be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly

  3. An attempt will be made to help the bully / bullies) change their behaviour

Cardiff & Vale Bullying Procedure:

  1. Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem.

  2. Members of the Association’s Disciplinary Committee will meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to ascertain details of the allegation. Minutes will be taken for clarity, which should be agreed by all as a true account.

  3. The same Disciplinary Committee members will meet with the alleged bully and parent(s) and put the incident raised to them to answer and give their view of the allegation. Minutes shall again be taken and agreed.

  4. If bullying has in the view of the Disciplinary Committee taken place, the following procedures may be implemented:

- Consideration will be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time.

- The individual shall be warned and put on notice that if a further incident(s) occurs, a temporary or permanent suspension will be implemented.

- If the initial incident is considered serious enough, the player will be asked to leave the squad with immediate effect. The Head Teacher of the player’s school will be informed.

- If necessary, the police will be informed.

 5.  All coaches involved with the individual(s) concerned shall be made aware of the concerns and outcome of the disciplinary process i.e. the procedures put in place.

In the case of adults reported to be bullying anyone within the association:

  1. The CWO shall be informed.

  2. A meeting involving the CWO and two other Disciplinary Committee members, together with those alleging the bullying incident(s) will be held – minutes will be taken.

  3. The CVSFA CWO shall be informed if necessary and will advise on further action to be taken.

  4. In most cases where the allegation is made regarding an official or coach, The FA’s child protection and best practice awareness training may be recommended.

  5. More serious cases may be referred to the police, social services or judicial complaints procedure.

Other Sources of Information
KIDSCAPE a voluntary organisation committed to helping prevent child bullying, can be contacted on 0207 730 3300 or via their website can be accessed at www.kidscape.org.uk.

You may also wish to access www.bullying.co.uk, another website designed to give advice and guidance to parents and children who are faced with dealing with bullying.

The FAW web site’s Safeguarding section provides further information and documentation on a variety of Child Protection issues.

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