We place the safeguarding and welfare of young people high on our agenda and have a Dedicated Welfare Officer.
It’s important to remember that every child or young person, defined as any person under the age of 18, who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in football, thus every club is required to endorse and adhere to The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy.
At the beginning of each season, all clubs need to name a Club Welfare Officer (CWO). We recognise that, without volunteer CWOs, football in Essex wouldn't have as many safeguards in place. Although their hard work is not always noticed when things are going well, you can be sure everyone will be asking questions if they go wrong! These people, who are Criminal Records Check (CRC) checked, will be able to advise you of any concerns you may have regarding young people.
They will have, or will be, attending a Safeguarding Children Workshop enabling them to be able to deal with welfare issues. The details of your club’s CWO should be available in your club material. As well as a CWOs, the league also has a League Welfare Officer. The FA only uses checks called 'Enhanced Disclosures', which are conducted on an individual to make sure they do not have any convictions which might mean they are not safe to work with young people.
If you are in a welfare role, you can also attend the Welfare Officer Workshop. This course builds on the Safeguarding Children Course and is directed specifically towards the Welfare Officers, whereas the Safeguarding Children is attended by referees, coaches etc. Do you need to complete either of these workshops? If so, information can be found via the ‘Development’ link above then clicking on 'Courses'.
We like to make sure we're offering the support needed by Welfare Officers and welcome concerns or suggestions. The feedback we've had has been really positive and we’d like to provide networking opportunities and chances to meet Helen. All those involved in the welfare aspect are working hard to provide the best possible environment for young people to participate in football. If you have any concerns regarding the welfare of a young person/s, you should contact the relevant party, and should your concern be of an urgent and immediate nature, the telephone numbers listed will assist you.