ESSEX youth football teams have a chance to show their support for child safeguarding in the county through a Football Association pledge of commitment, details of which have been E-Mailed to affiliated clubs today (Tuesday 6th December).
Club Secretaries who are active users of The FA’s online ‘Whole Game System’ have received a message with details of how to complete the pledge, while irregular or non-users will be contacted by post. The ‘Club Safeguarding Commitment’ must be completed by Sunday 18th December via https://wholegame.thefa.com.
The Essex County FA have reminded individuals and clubs within the football community of the mechanisms in place to report concerns and to reinforce awareness of the advice and guidance available, in response to the recent national media coverage of sex abuse in football. Volunteers and staff at all levels of the game have a wealth of resources at their disposal as football joins together to make the game as safe as possible.
All counties have designated Welfare Officers, who work in line with FA procedures and closely with the local statutory agencies like the police and local authorities to ensure a proactive approach. Essex’s County Welfare Officer is Helen Hever, who is urging every youth club in Essex to complete the pledge immediately.
She commented: “Current safeguards in football mean things are different since 2000 as the game has been developing frameworks. But that doesn’t mean anyone can be complacent, as constant work is needed to ensure football can continue to be safer. All clubs in Essex need to pledge these commitments so we can show once more, as a county, that we mean business when it comes to making football as safe as it can be.”
Meanwhile, The FA have launched a personal message from England players to explain how parents and children can raise concerns about adults working in football, centred around how 8,500 officers working across England football take four steps of safeguarding.
An NSPCC hotline is available via (0808) 800 5000 to report any concerns relating to abuse in English football. To streamline safeguarding enquiries, a new E-Mail account has also been set-up at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Essex County FA and The FA support clubs including Think You Know (www.thinkuknow.co.uk) and CEOP (https://ceop.police.uk) logos and links on websites.