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ESFA CHILD WELFARE POLICY AND ADVICE DOCUMENT TO MEMBERSHIP

INTRODUCTION

ESFA Council is consciously aware of the importance of providing a safe and secure environment for the thousands of young people who play soccer within the family of the ESFA. ESFA Council has consistently sought advice from the Football Association’s Equity Department, and these discussions and the requirements laid down by the F.A. have formed the basis of the policy that has been developed over a number of years. In addition the new legislation of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) 2006 adds urgency upon the ESFA to finally put into place a structure and procedure based upon the requirements of the SVGA and the Football Association. Youth/schools football is a regulated activity under the terms of the Act, involving close contact with children. Under the terms of the Act it will be a criminal offence for anyone to be in a paid or unpaid role, working with children or vulnerable adults if they have not completed an enhanced CRB disclosure and been ‘accepted’ in to football. This means that any such person is not to engage in regulated activity unless they are ‘subject to monitoring’ e.g. have completed a CRB disclosure and been ‘accepted’ in to football.

It will also be a criminal offence if a regulated activity provider (i.e. ESFA, affiliated county or local association)

i) permits an individual to engage in regulated activity from which that individual is barred,

ii) Or if a regulated activity provider knows or has reason to believe that an individual is barred from that activity, and the individual engages in the activity. We will need to do all we can to ensure that everyone is clear on their own responsibilities at school, district, county and national level.

POLICY

1. All Associations (county and local) are required to appoint a Child Welfare Officer with immediate effect -this is now a CONDITION OF MEMBERSHIP in line with F.A. Policy for all youth leagues and youth clubs across the country. The nominated CWO should be named at the time of annual affiliation.

2. All Child Welfare Officers must undergo an F.A. CRB ENHANCED DISCLOSURE and have attended the FA's Safeguarding Children Workshop. Other specific Welfare Officer training will follow.

3. At County and Local Association level all those in the role of coach, manager, first aider, welfare officer, referee or officially driving children to and from events on behalf of county and local associations are required to complete a CRB ENHANCED DISCLOSURE – It is the responsibility of all Associations to ensure this procedure is completed and ESFA advises that all Associations begin this process immediately if they have not already started. Individuals who have an FA CRB Enhanced Disclosure though their involvement as a qualified referee or as a qualified F.A. Coach do not need to undergo another CRB Enhanced Disclosure. If a person’s CRB ENHANCED DISCLOSURE was obtained via the F.A. Premier League or from any other organisation, then another one must be obtained.

AOTT STATUS

1. The ESFA rule structure allows practising teachers, retired teachers to have ultimate control of teams. In addition past or present employees of the education service (e.g. teaching assistants, caretakers) can also have this ultimate control of teams if they have received direct approval in writing from the appropriate local or county Schools’ Football Association. All individuals applying for AOTT status must now undergo an F.A. CRB ENHANCED DISCLOSURE

2. Local and County Associations can also register individuals as AOTTs with the E.S.F.A. which will give them, on written confirmation from the Chief Executive, ultimate control of teams. These individuals must have: -
a. At least a level 1 F.A. coaching qualification.
b. an F.A. Enhanced CRB Disclosure
c. attended the FA's Safeguarding Children Workshop
d. a basic understand of First Aid
N.B. It is important to stress that all AOTTs under 1 and/or 2 must now undergo an F.A. Enhanced CRB Disclosure

SCHOOL MATCHES

1. In a school versus school situation matters of Child Welfare remain the responsibility of the Head Teacher(s)

2. Schools who have AOTTs having the ultimate control over a school team which participates in national, county or local competitions must register this individual as an AOTT with the ESFA. An individual working with a person qualified under current ESFA Rules (i.e. teacher, past or present employee of the education service) - this person has ultimate control of the team - need not be registered with the ESFA as an AOTT.

PROCEDURES

1. Copies of CRB Disclosure Forms and AOTT Registration Forms should be requested from the E.S.F.A. Office (Sue Gifford) - 01785 785970

2. On completion: -

a. CRB Forms should to be returned to an ESFA CWO verifier - there is currently an F.A. charge of £12.00 for each CRB Disclosure (there may be an additional charge in the future to cover P & P for the return of documents) The term of an F.A. CRB enhanced disclosure is 3 years.

b. AOTT Forms should be returned to the ESFA Chief Executive – John Read – currently there is no charge for AOTT Registration.

3. FA Safeguarding Children Workshop

a. County Football Associations regularly run sessions of this workshop and county/local associations are encouraged to liaise with their County F.A. to provide access to this Workshop for CWOs within their County area.

4. For further information or advice please contact the ESFA Child Welfare Officer or the ESFA Chief Executive: -

• Martin Duffield - 52 St Mark’s Road, Dudley, West Midlands, DY2 7SD
Tel: 01384 242526 Mob: 07852 276416 Email: cwo@esfa.co.uk
• Alan Johnson, 6 Lyndhurst Road, Stanley, Durham, DH9 7RH
Tel: 01207 232881 Mobile: 07719 446550 Emai: alanjohnston100@sky.com
• Barry Shackley, 16 Barleycroft Lane, Dinnington, Sheffield, S25 2LE
Tel:01909 520050
• John Read – 4 Parker Court, Beaconside, Stafford, ST18 0WP
Tel: 01785 785970 Mob: 07740 484490 Email: john.read@schoolsfa.com

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