This document is distributed to the following people throughout Acorn FC, Football Club and any other interested parties.
Club’s Quality Policy Statement
Acorn FC is committed to supporting the National Player Development structure and the Coach Education Programme by adopting the principles of ISO 9001: 2008, the International Standard for Quality Management System Requirements, and continually reviewing and improving our services. The Management of Acorn FC are committed to ensuring this policy is communicated to all interested parties where applicable.
Acorn FC will provide a quality coaching programme for talented young footballers delivered by qualified coaches in a safe environment. It will achieve this by:-
- Adopting a player centred approach;
- Ensuring the welfare of the players;
- Promoting codes of conduct for players, parents and coaches;
- Utilising high quality, safe facilities and equipment;
- Encouraging continuing coach education and awareness;
- Operating in an open and transparent manner;
- Adhering and complying with statutory and regulatory requirements including UEFA and FA guidelines;
- Ensuring this policy is reviewed at least annually
Parents will be advised to;
- Encourage their child to play by the laws of the game
• Avoid pressurising their child about winning or losing
• Support and encourage all players including the opposition
• Avoid publicly criticising their child or other players
• Accept decisions made by match officials
Club’s Welfare Policy Statement
Acorn Football Club recognises its responsibilities to safeguard the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults who are attracted to and participate in football. As part of the club’s commitment to providing good quality football in a safe environment, the Welfare Policy and Code of Conduct and Good Practice have been extended to cover everyone (paid and unpaid staff, volunteers, coached, officials and players) taking part in the sport of football.
Terms of Reference
“A relationship of trust is defined as any in which a person has power or influence over and/or is in a position to confer advancement or failure. A sexual relationship is deemed to be intrinsically unequal within such a relationship of trust and is therefore judged as unacceptable, even where the young person or participant is above the legal age of consent.”
A “Vulnerable Adult” is any with a learning or physical disability or physical or mental illness, which results in their being incapable of protecting themselves from abuse and when their moral well being may be overpowered.
A “Vulnerable Person” is any adult or the weaker party in a relationship of trust.
- To establish an effective system to ensure that all children, young people and vulnerable adults are able to enjoy football in as safe an environment as possible.
- To ensure that everyone involved in football at the club, in whatever capacity, is trained in the welfare and protection of children, young adults and vulnerable adults.
- To promote high standards of behaviour by all those involved in all aspects of football.
- To ensure everyone who enjoys football at the club is protected from sexual harassment
In order to ensure that all members, officials, voluntary or paid workers, players and participants are protected from abuse, exploitation, harassment and harm, inside or outside of the Club, the Board of Acorn FC will:
- Accept the moral and legal responsibility to implement procedures to provide a duty of care to children, young people and vulnerable adults, safeguard their well being and protect them from abuse.
- Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feeling of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- Recruit, train and supervise its employees and volunteers to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse, and themselves against false allegations.
- Require staff/volunteers to adopt and abide by Acorn FC Club Code of Conduct and Good Practice and Welfare Policy and Procedures.
- Require that all coaches, officials and volunteers be aware of the potential for the development of a relationship of trust between themselves and young people and vulnerable adults, and the consequences inherent in the accidental or intentional abuse of that relationship.
The key principles underlining the Welfare Policy are that:
- The Welfare of children and young people (the Children’s Act 1989, defines a young person as under 18 years of age) and vulnerable adults is the primary concern.
- All children, young people and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
- All incidents of poor practice and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- Confidentiality should be upheld in line with the Data Protection Act (1998), and the Human Rights Act (1998).
- It is the responsibility of the Child Protection experts to determine whether or not abuse has taken place, but is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns.
- All forms of sexual harassment are prohibited.
Information on Types of Abuse
All adults at the club have a responsibility to report any concerns they have if they suspect that abuse is taking place. Physical and behavioural signs that may raise concerns include:
Physical Abuse (hitting, shaking, squeezing, biting, burning)
In football, this may result if the nature of intensity of training is inappropriate for the player, or where drugs or alcohol (specifically under 18) are advocated or tolerated.
Sexual Abuse (Any form of sexual behaviour between an adult and a young person or the use of pornographic material.)
In football, this may be the result of coaches or older players involving young/disabled players in any form of sexual activity (e.g. Sexual language, touching or relationships).
Emotional Abuse (Wherever there is any form of abuse as well as the withholding of love or affection, overprotection, frequent use of shouting or taunts)
In football, this may occur if players are subject to constant criticism, bullying (by coach, parents or peers), taunting to unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectation.
Neglect (Failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.)
Neglect in football could include a teacher or coach not ensuring children were safe, exposing them to undue cold, heat or unnecessary risk of injury.
Signs, which may be a cause for concern
- Unexplained bruising or injuries and reluctance to talk about them
- Unexplained changes in behaviour – becoming aggressive, withdrawn or unhappy.
- Something said by a player who may identify a coach as a trusted person with whom to share concerns.
- A change observed over a long period of time (e.g. the person losing weight or becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt.)
- Sexually explicit behaviour and language.
Club’s Equality Statement
(Also refer to Club’s Anti-Discrimination Charter)
- Acorn FC is fully committed to the principles of the equality of opportunity.
- No participant, volunteer, job applicant or employee will receive less favourable treatment than any other, on the grounds of gender, age, colour, disability, ethnic origin, parental or marital status, religious belief, social class or sexual preference.
- Acorn FC will ensure that there is open access for all those who wish to participate in the sport, in whatever capacity and that they are treated fairly.
- Acorn FC recognises its legal obligations not to discriminate.
- Acorn FC will regard discrimination by any employee, participant or volunteer as grounds for disciplinary.
Policy Statement for the Prevention of Abuse of Trust
Acorn FC recognises its responsibilities towards children, young people, and vulnerable adults to protect them against sexual activity within relationships of trust. As part of Acorn FC commitment to providing good quality football in a safe environment, it has introduced this Policy, which covers the relationship between participants, officials, coaches, volunteers and paid employees.
The aims of Acorn FC Prevention of Abuse of Trust Policy are:
- to establish an effective system to ensure that all those in a position of trust are aware of their responsibilities to protect those who are deemed to be vulnerable from an unequal and potentially damaging relationship.
- to establish an effective system to ensure that all those in a position of trust do not put themselves in a position where allegations of abuse, whether or not these allegations are justified, can be made.
- To ensure high standards of behaviour by all those involved in all aspects of football.
- To ensure everyone who enjoys football in the club is protected from physical or verbal harassment.
- All children, young people and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity, have the right to protection from sexual activity from those working with them in a relationship of trust.
- Confidentiality of all parties will be respected within the bounds of the law.
- Pre-existing sexual relationships should be ended before a sports relationship, for example, between a coach and a participant commences OR the sexual relationship should be ended before the sports relationship commences.
- The above principles apply to everyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion or disability.
- Implement procedures to provide protection to children, young people and vulnerable adults from sexual activity from those with whom they have a relationship of trust.
- Support anyone within the organisation who raises concerns about the behaviour of another.
- Respond to any allegations appropriately and implement the appropriate investigation, disciplinary and appeals procedures.
- Require that coaches demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times and encourage children, young people and vulnerable adults to display the same qualities.
Who to Contact
If you suspect abuse could be taking place you should contact our nominated Child Protection Officer or a Welfare Officer appointed by the Football Association to which the club is registered.
It is not your responsibility to decide whether abuse is taking place, but it is your responsibility to act if you have any concerns.