Red House Farm Football club recognises that because
coaches/volunteers are in regular and frequent contact with children they are particularly well placed to observe signs of abuse. RHF is therefore aware of the responsibilities which the coached/volunteers have with regard to the protection of children from abuse and from inadequate and inappropriate care.

RHFs nominated Child Protection Welfare Officers (CPWO) are:

Tony Whaling, Janet Gibson, Barry Mann

They are the “designated persons” which concerns must be shared with.
All coaches/volunteers have been made aware of the above and realise that if they suspect any wrong doings towards any of the children connected to the club that they must bring it to the attention of the CPWO immediately.

Where coaches/volunteers see signs which cause them to have concerns they should seek information from the child with tact and sympathy. It is not however the responsibility of the coach/volunteer to investigate suspected abuse.

All records and witness statements relating to child protection concerns
will be marked confidential and kept on the premises belonging to the

All coaches/volunteers connected to RHF will be subject to CRB Enhanced Procedure.


Principles on which RHF procedures are based:

  • Children have the right to protection
  • Everyone working with or in contact with children has a responsibility for their protection
  • Responsibility relating to concern for a childs safety must be shared
  • Child protection depends on all coaches/volunteers and all agencies working together.

Child protection over-rides:

  • Confidentiality
  • Relationship with family
  • Agency hierarchy and objectives

RHFs responsibilities and those of the FA are determined by the following legislation:

  • Police Act 1997
  • Sex Offenders Act 1997
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Children Act amended 1990
  • Protection of Children Act 1999
  • Sexual Offences Act revised 2000
  • Youth Evidence and crime Evidence Act 1999


The procedures apply to ALL children and to abuse by anyone responsible for their care ie parents, baby sitters, professionals (eg care staff, teachers, coaches/volunteers)

Procedures MUST be followed in response to child abuse or suspicion of
child abuse. Do not guarantee confidentiality to the child. Take what the child says very seriously.

Typical signs of abuse include:

  • unexplained bruising or injuries
  • sexually explicit language/actions
  • sudden changes in behaviour eg withdrawn
  • something a child has said
  • a change observed over a long period of time
  • loss of weight for no apparent reason

Remember these signs may not constitute abuse.

If you have any concerns share them with the “designated person” – the CPWO.


Physical Abuse:

Physical abuse implies physically harmful action directed against a child; it is usually defined as any inflicted injury such as bruises, burns, head injuries, fractures, abdominal injuries or poisoning.

Possible physical abuse in football includes:

  • inappropriate training methods
  • overtraining/overplaying
  • knowingly playing players who are already injured or ill

Emotional Abuse:

Emotional abuse includes a child being continually terrorised, berated or

Possible emotional abuse in football includes:

  • Frequently taunting, criticising, bullying or pressing children to attain
    standards that they are clearly not able to reach
  • Continuous criticism and lack of praise from the coach/parent
  • Pressure from the parent for their child to play football against their

Sexual Abuse:

Sexual abuse is defined as the involvement of dependant developmentally immature children and adolescents in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent, or that violate the social taboos of family roles.

Possible sexual abuse in football includes:

  • Inappropriate physical contact eg supporting, touching or inappropriate medical treatment
  • Showing young people pornographic books, photography or videos.


Neglect can be a very insidious form of maltreatment, which can go on for a long time. It implies failure of the parents to act properly in safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of the child. It includes nutritional neglect, failure to provide medical care or to protect a child from physical and social danger.

Possible neglect in football includes:

  • Failure to ensure that the child is safe or to expose them to undue
    extremes of weather or risk or injury.
  • Fail to meet the childs basic physical needs for food and warm clothing.
  • To constantly leave children alone or unsupervised.

Bullying: Emotional and verbal bullying are more common than physical violence.
Possible bullying in football:

  • Players ganging up against one individual and threatening them verbally or physically.
  • A coach wanting to “win – at – all – costs” forcing players to the limit.
  • Young players threatening and stealing from team mates.


  • Record what you saw or heard as soon after the event as possible.
  • Remember it is not your job to interrogate or try to find out as much information as possible. You are not qualified to do so, may cause greater upset to the victim and may put a legal case at risk. Write down the facts – exactly what the person said or precisely what you saw. Do not add any opinions about what you saw or heard.
  • Use the notes you have written down when you are reporting your concerns verbally, try to stay calm and unemotional.
  • Do not share the information with anyone else. You may need support yourself and you should discuss this with the person to whom you report your concerns.
  • If you feel that your concerns are not being dealt with satisfactorily, you should follow up by contacting another CPWO (Northumberland FA).


Red House Farm encourages parents/carers to take pictures or video of their children playing football and training. Having a visual memento of our children playing and enjoying football is priceless … ‘The FA (Football Association) would like to assure parents, carers, coaches, spectators, players and local media that we encourage the taking of appropriate images of children in football’ (extract from The FA Guidance)

As an FA Affiliated Club we follow FA Guidance on taking and using photographic images and video of children and have the following specific guidance for parents, carers, spectators and club officials:

  • Please do NOT identify a child or children by name when posting a photograph or video online or in the press, or publish any other personal details or information that will assist a third party in identifying the child.
  • The Club does NOT allow images to be recorded in changing rooms, showers or toilets – this includes the use of mobile phones that record images.
  • Coaches and Club Officials will from time to time photograph or video matches or training to post on our website or other media, e.g. Facebook, or to use as an aid to training. If at any point you have Safeguarding concerns about your child appearing in a photo (e.g. the child is subject to care proceedings), it is important to discuss this with your child’s Coach or Safeguarding Officers who will ensure the club is made aware and appropriate and agreed action is taken.
  • Club Officials may take photos or video at away matches but this will have been discussed with the home team Coach or Officials PRIOR to the match. Other clubs may have different policies relating to photography and without prior permission, parent/carers should NOT take photos or video.
  • When taking photos or video, try and focus on the activity rather than the individual.
  • Ensure that all children featured in a photo or video are appropriately dressed with a minimum of shirt and shorts.
  • Club Officials should aim to take pictures which represent the broad range of youngsters participating safely in football e.g. boys and girls, disabled people, ethnic minority communities.
  • Please ensure any photos or videos you take are stored securely.
  • If you are concerned about the inappropriate use of images please report this to your Welfare Officer, Coach or Club Official.

To report potentially unlawful materials on the internet please contact: The Internet Watch Foundation Email: Telephone: 01223 237700 or The FA’s Case Management Team Email: Telephone: 0207 745 4787

Report a Child Protection incident

Please use this form to report any Child Protection incidents you become aware of following the guidelines from the policy document above. All submissions will be treat in confidence and the only person who receives a copy of your submission is the club’s Welfare Officer.

Report a Child Protection incident

Please use this form to report any Child Protection incidents you become aware of following the guidelines from the policy document above. All submissions will be treat in confidence and the only person who receives a copy of your submission is the club's Welfare Officer.

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