ACADEMY WELFARE Health and Safety Policy and Procedures
The purpose of the Academy is to develop the skills of talented young footballers through quality coaching provided by UEFA licensed football coaches in a safe and enjoyable environment and in accordance with UEFA guidelines and FAW policies and procedures.
Welfare - general
Aberystwyth Town Football Club Academy regards as paramount its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children, young persons and vulnerable adults who are members of the Academy. To further this end the Academy has appointed a Welfare and Child Protection Officer and has developed a Welfare and Child protection policy, injury and treatment procedures and policies for the safe use of facilities and equipment. The Academy promotes training and awareness of child protection and welfare issues and first aid through a continuing education programme for Academy coaches.
Child Protection Policy.
It is the policy of Aberystwyth Town Football Club to ensure that every child, young person or vulnerable adult who takes part in football, is able to participate in a fun and safe environment, to be protected from neglect, and physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
In pursuit of this policy, Aberystwyth Town Football Club adopts the following principles: -
Any person under the age of 18 years will be considered as a child for the purposes of this document.
The child’s welfare is paramount.
All children or young persons, or vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from harm.
All suspicious incidents and allegations of harm will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
Coaches, managers and other persons will be provided with the appropriate documentation, training and support, to ensure that they are able to implement this policy.
Adults working with children, young persons or vulnerable adults will be made aware of good practice, so that they can be protected from wrongful allegations.
Working in partnership with children, young persons or vulnerable adults and their parents/carers, is essential for the protection of the child.
Abuse: Abuse is used to describe ways in which children, young persons or vulnerable adults are harmed, usually by adults, and often by those they know or trust. Physical abuse Physical abuse occurs when parents, adults or other children or young persons deliberately inflict injuries on a child, and action ought to be taken to prevent such injuries. It is easy to identify some forms of physical abuse, such as hitting, shaking, burning, biting, or otherwise using excessive force. Physical abuse can also occur by giving children or young persons alcohol, inappropriate drugs or other toxic substances. It is important to remember that physical abuse may also occur if the nature and intensity of training, or the frequency of competitive matches disregards the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body, and pre-disposes the child to injuries resulting from fatigue and over-exertion.
Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse occurs when adults fail to show children, young persons or vulnerable adults due care and attention, or threaten, taunt or shout at a child, causing him or her to lose self-confidence or self-esteem, and because nervous or withdrawn. Emotional abuse can occur when an adult ignores or fails to respond to a child’s efforts or progress, or when a child is placed under unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectations.
Neglect: Neglect occurs when adults fail to meet a child’s essential needs, such as adequate clothing, food, warmth and medical care. But neglect can also occur where an adult leaves a child alone without proper supervision, or does not ensure that the child is safe, or exposes the child to undue extremes of temperature or risk of injury.
Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse occurs when males or females use children, young persons or vulnerable adults to meet their own sexual needs. Examples would include forcing a child to take part in sexual activity, but can also include suggestions that sexual favours can help the child to progress in their career. Sexual abuse can occur when inappropriate physical contact takes place, such as inappropriate touching of children, young persons or vulnerable adults.
Bullying: Bullying can take many forms. Bullying can be physical, verbal, such as when a child, young person or vulnerable adult is exposed to racist or homophobic remarks, threats, or name calling, or emotional, such as being isolated from group activities.
Abuse of trust: It is an abuse of trust for adults to indoctrinate children, young persons or vulnerable adults to inappropriate attitudes to training, drugs, cheating, or social, political or religious views which are unacceptable to the young persons family, community, or rules of the sport.
General abuse: Not all forms of abuse are obvious, and vigilance is required to protect children, young persons and vulnerable adults from inappropriate interest in them. Inappropriate use of photographic material taken at sporting events is an area of abuse which is increasing, and all those involved with the sport need to be aware of this.
It is not always easy to recognise abuse. In some cases, a child’s disturbed behaviour or an injury may suggest that a child has been abused. However, in many situations the signs will not be clear cut, and decisions about what action to take can be difficult.
Possible indications that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may be being abused include the following: -
Unexplained suspicious injuries, such as bruising, cuts or burns, particular if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries.
An injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent.
The child, young person or vulnerable adult describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him/her.
Someone else (a child or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of another child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Unexplained changes in behaviour (e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn, or displaying sudden outbursts of temper).
Inappropriate sexual awareness.
Engaging in sexually explicit behaviour.
Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected.
A child has difficulty in making friends.
Is prevented from socialising from other children, young people or vulnerable adults.
Displays variations in eating patterns, including overeating or loss of appetite.
Loses weight for no apparent reason.
Becoming increasingly dirty or unkept.
Being reluctant to return home.
It should be recognised that this list is not exhaustive, and the presence of one or more of the indicators is not proof that abuse is actually taking place. It is not the responsibility of those working in sport to decide that abuse is occurring, but it is their responsibility to act upon any concerns. If you have concerns about the welfare of a child, young person or vulnerable adult, you MUST ACT.
Do not assume that someone else will.
Implementing the Child Protection Policy
In order to achieve effective implementation of its Child Protection Policy, the Club will: -
Appoint a Child Protection and Welfare Officer.
Accept that all officers, managers, assistants and committee members have responsibilities in this area, and will be prepared to respond to any indication of abuse.
Be ready to amend bad practice.
Implement any recommendations of the Football Association of Wales relating to child protection and welfare.
Maintain the confidentiality of the child and the accused. Role of the Child Protection and Welfare Officer
To ensure that all Club helpers/officials/coaches are aware of child protection and welfare issues.
To encourage awareness through meetings, seminars, lectures, and attending training courses as appropriate.
To receive and advise on reports of suspicious activities or suspected abuse from other Club members.
To initiate action, which conforms with Football Association of Wales guidelines
Injury and Treatment Procedures
All players registering for the Academy are required to complete registration packs including a medical information and consent form. The Academy retains information concerning the players general health so that it is aware of any health issues relevant to a players participation in coaching sessions or matches. The Academy also retains details of each players’ GP and GP practice. This information is available at all coaching sessions and matches.
All players registering for the Academy must provide parental consent for the administration of emergency medical treatment where such treatment is necessary before parents can be contacted. The Academy retains emergency contact telephone numbers for all players and this information is available at all coaching sessions and matches.
The Academy maintains a written record of any injury that occurs at a coaching session or a match and the treatment given where that injury is sufficient to cause the player to stop or suspend participation at a coaching session or to cause a player to leave the field of play at a match. Injury and treatment records are available for completion at each coaching session or match and are retained by the Academy Administrator. In any case where the injury leads to a referral such as to hospital or to the sports therapist the counter signature of the doctor or therapist will be sought confirming the injury sustained.
All age group coaches will have received basic training in First Aid procedures. It is part of the role of an age group coach to provide an injured player with First Aid or to assist the First Aid Officer in his duties. The First Aid Officer assisted by the Age group coach is responsible for making an initial assessment of the injury and: -
Non – Emergency
(a) Providing necessary first-aid treatment e.g. ice, wound care, etc (b) Notifying the Welfare Officer (c) Completing injury and treatment report (d) Contacting parent/guardian to explain incident and treatment provided
(a) Assessing the seriousness of the injury (b) Establishing level of consciousness (c) Providing necessary Emergency treatment (d) Directing the Welfare Officer to contact emergency services with clear information for emergency services (e) Remaining with the player until the Emergency Services arrive (f) Securing the immediate scene, keeping other players away (g) Completing injury and treatment report Welfare
The Welfare Officer is responsible for ensuring that all necessary medical and contact information is available to coaches at coaching sessions and matches. The Welfare Officer is also responsible for:- (a) ensuring that injury and injury treatment reports are available and completed (b) contacting the Emergency services when directed to do so by an emergency first aider attending to a player (c) making urgent contact with the parent(s)/guardian of the injured player (d) travelling with an injured player to hospital and remaining with the player until a parent or guardian has arrived
All Academy staff are responsible for adopting the above procedures. Upon any occasion when either the First Aid Officer and/or the Welfare Officer are unavailable to attend a coaching session or match they are each responsible for the proper delegation of their duties to other responsible and properly trained staff.
Equipment and Facility Safety
Academy coaches are required to satisfy themselves that facilities for training and playing and equipment in use by the Academy are safe for use. Academy coaches are required to make sure equipment is in good condition and being used only for the purpose for which it was designed. Academy coaches should check that goalposts are in good condition and properly constructed. Home-made goalposts should never be used - they do not have built-in safety features and may be particularly hazardous for younger players. Academy coaches should check the surface of training areas for objects that may injure a young player and make sure that equipment not in use is kept clear of training and playing areas. If weather conditions give rise to concerns about the playing surface Academy coaches will stop the Activity and if possible use an indoor facility. Where concerns arise in the context of a match, Academy coaches should raise their concerns with the official(s) in charge of the match.