Safeguarding Children

Letter from our Committee

Dear Crowmarsh Parent, I am sure that you will have seen the unfolding stories regarding the alleged abuse of young football players by coaches in the past few decades. We can re-assure parents that we have not had any complaints of this nature but do have processes in place to address any situations if they were to arise. We thought you might like to know that every volunteer who works closely with the children including every coach, has had, or is in the process of getting, a Criminal Records Check (CRC) – this is a Government service which works directly with the police and is designed to flag any prior occurrences of issues. Furthermore, each team has a coach who has done, or is in the process of doing, the FA’s latest Safeguarding Certification course and accordingly not only understands, but has also committed to a best practice approach. We have two Club Welfare Officers (Mo Fillmore and Paul Whitty) and can be contacted for any concern or issue you have at welfare@crowmarshfc.co.uk, and the entire Committee is also available to assist. Their names and contact details are available here. Just to re-iterate all of us in the Club Committee fully understand and take seriously our duty of care.

Best regards,

Mo Fillmore and Paul Whitty.

Letter from the FA

Dear Club Secretary, I am writing to you today to ensure that all our clubs are aware of the recent disclosures of child abuse in football and what they should do next if they have any concerns. Everyone at The FA is appalled by the horrific abuse that has been suffered by former footballers. I applaud their immense courage and bravery in coming forward. Our thoughts are with the victims of this abuse and we are clear that we will do everything we can to support them. I wanted to ensure that you are left in no doubt concerning how seriously The FA is approaching these disclosures. At the moment, and in line with the normal FA safeguarding procedures, we are working closely with the police and relevant authorities and we continue to encourage anyone with information about possible child abuse to report their concerns to the police, The FA or the NSPCC. I am sure you too are deeply concerned about the recent disclosures and it is of course important to emphasise the diligence with which clubs must approach their safeguarding responsibilities. I am therefore writing to every grassroots club in the country, while my counterparts in the Premier League and EFL are writing to the professional clubs too.

All clubs need to ensure their safeguarding is a priority. Together, we will make sure that the game we all love can be played in a safe, fun environment. Firstly, I would like your help to ensure that we can offer support to those who need it. Please ensure that those at your club are aware of the specific helpline we have commissioned the NSPCC to provide to help encourage more people to come forward. The number is 0800 023 2642. Secondly, I ask you too for extra vigilance with regards to safeguarding and your procedures. If you have any concerns, please contact The FA through safeguarding@thefa.com . We cannot and will not be complacent. Despite the fact that the safeguarding landscape has changed significantly in recent years, we must ensure we all treat the topic with the utmost care. As you know, The FA works collaboratively on prevention and investigations with the Premier League, the EFL and County FAs, along with other football stakeholders. The FA has a team of safeguarding professionals who put in place preventative measures via policy, education, best practice and support for the network of people acting as Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs). That team is here to help you if you need it; as a grassroots club you can also seek advice and guidance directly from your CFA DSO. In addition our specialist Case Management Team comprised of safeguarding professionals manage referrals and concerns, working closely with the statutory agencies in relation to investigations and put in place safeguards to manage people who pose, or may pose a risk of harm. This framework sees 8,500 DSOs across the professional and grassroots game and carries out some 55,000 criminal records checks each season. 35,000 coaches and referees also attend The FA’s safeguarding awareness course each season and each club of course also implements its own safeguarding policy. Collectively we will continue to work together to ensure that these measures are robust and that football is played safely across the country. If you have any concerns please contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Clarke, Chairman

Additional material

We would encourage you to look at the FA's website which summarises the best practice around safeguarding in a short video. You may also like to use the website www.thinkyouknow.co.uk which is a great resource for raising awareness with the kids themselves, the content is tailored to their age range. The FA also published this week the following short video.

Please also refer to to the FA leaflet on Safeguarding