Skip to main content

Welfare and Safeguarding

Information and advice on welfare and safeguarding in your club or group.

There are four main types of abuse: NeglectPhysical AbuseSexual Abuse & Emotional Abuse, CLICK HERE for further information on the distinct types of abuse which can occur in a sports setting

What is the Role of the Club Welfare Officer?

Every club should have a designated Club Welfare Officer. The Club Welfare Officer acts as the first point of contact for anyone in the club (staff, volunteer, parents, or children) who has a concern about a child, poor practice, or abuse towards children.  In partnership with the club committee, the Welfare Officer ensures that the club is adopting and implementing child safeguarding policies and procedures which are necessary for it to demonstrate its duty of care to children.

As a recommendation, a Welfare Officer does not hold another position on the club committee, is not an active coach at the club and not related to other members of the committee / coaching team. This recommendation is to avoid difficulties and conflicts of interest that could arise from a member wishing to refer a concern to the Welfare Officer but feeling unable to do so.

Roles & Responsibilities of a Club Welfare Officer:

  • To ensure that the club has up to date safeguarding policies & procedures.
  • To ensure that relevant staff and/or volunteers are aware of and follow good practice.
  • To ensure that relevant staff and/or volunteers have appropriate qualifications & training.
  • To be the first point of contact for any concerns or queries regarding safeguarding

A Club Welfare Officer should:

  • Have a valid and in-date Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Have attended a Safeguarding & Protecting Children course.

CLICK HERE for a full description of a Club Welfare Officer’s role and more information

CLICK HERE to find out more about DBS checks and how to get one

What Qualifications & Training are Available & How Can I Access These?

Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC1) – This 3-hour workshop provides candidates with the best-practice tools they need to recognise and respond appropriately to issues of safeguarding and child protection. Click to find course in County Durham https://www.bookit.org.uk/list-all-events

OR visit UK Coaching courses: https://www.ukcoaching.org/resources/safeguarding

CPSU Time to Listen – The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU)also developed this 3-hour training programme, specifically for Club Welfare Officers who have previously attended a Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop, for a wider scope around welfare officer roles if needed.

Sport safeguarding training | CPSU (thecpsu.org.uk)

What is a Safeguarding Policy?

A Safeguarding Policy – should provide a set of guidelines to make sure your organisation deals with safeguarding concerns effectively. The policy makes it clear to staff, volunteers, parents, and children what your organisation will do to keep children safe.

All organisations that have contact with children should have specific safeguarding policies and procedures in place.

A Safeguarding Policy should include:

  • A statement setting out the organisation’s commitment to protecting all children.
  • What the organisation will do to keep children safe and respond to concerns
  • A list of the supporting procedures that accompany the policy.

Reporting Child Welfare Concerns

All concerns about a child should be reported to the Club Welfare Officer or national safeguarding lead, following the National Governing Body (NGB) or County Sport Partnership (CSP) procedures. Where concerns are about child abuse, this may lead to a referral to children’s services who may involve the police. If concerns are about poor practice, the NGB or CSP’s procedures will define the course of action to address this.

It is important that staff members and volunteers are aware of when they need to take immediate action to ensure a child’s safety, when they need to consult with others and what they should do in these circumstances.