Child Protection Policy

AFC Lightning take the matter of Child Protection seriously and we as a club wholeheartedly endorse and operate in accordance with the Football Association best practice guidelines which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Any concerns in this area should be immediately reported to the AFC Lightning Child Welfare Officer at cwo@afclightning.co.uk or to any manager, coach or club official.

Football Association best practice guidelines are set out below:

"Every child and young person who plays football should be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in football. We recognise, however, that child abuse is also a very emotive and difficult subject. It is important to understand the feelings involved but not to allow them to interfere with our judgement about any action to be taken. The Football Association recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. It is determined to meet its obligation to ensure that those clubs and organisations providing football opportunities for children and young people do so, to the highest possible standard of care. Clear practices and procedures, in addition to a detailed training programme already under way, will ensure that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them in relation to the protection of children and young people within our sport. It is essential that those children and young people attracted to and participating in football are able to do so in a quality, safe and enjoyable environment. In striving to attain this, The Football Association has the following objectives: A requirement that The F.A. Premier League and The Football League include in their rules a policy statement concerning child protection. A requirement that all bodies affiliated to The Football Association as Charter Standard Organisations, affiliated through the County Associations, which provide the opportunity to work with children and young people up to the age of eighteen, include in their rules a policy statement concerning child protection.

To provide ongoing development and training opportunities to all organisations as mentioned above. To provide ongoing development and training opportunities:

- for members of The F.A. Coaches Association

- as an integral part of all F.A. Coach and Medical Education courses and courses for Referees

- in staff development courses for members of The F.A. Premier League and The Football League

- through the County Football Association structure

- through the process of attaining and maintaining the Charter Standard Award

The aims of The F.A. Child Protection Policy are:

To develop a positive and pro-active position in order to best protect all children and young people who play football, enabling them to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment. To deliver quality assured child protection training and build a network of tutors to facilitate this delivery, in conjunction with, and supported by, the NSPCC.

The key principles underpinning this Policy are that:

The child's welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.

All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. Working in partnership with children and young people and their parents/carers is essential. Social Services Departments have a statutory responsibility to ensure the welfare of children and young people. The Football Association is committed to working together with Social Services Departments and local Area Child Protection Committees (ACPC) in accordance with their procedures. The Football Association's Regulations on child protection are defined in The F.A. Handbook.

1. Any act, statement, conduct or other matter which harms a child or children, or poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children, shall constitute behaviour which is improper and brings the game into disrepute.

2. In these Regulations the expression "Offence" shall mean any one or more of the offences contained in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and any other criminal offence which reasonably causes The Association to believe that the person accused of the offence poses or may pose a risk of harm to a child or children.

3. Upon receipt by The Association of:

4. In reaching its determination as to whether an order under Regulation 3 should be made The Association shall give consideration, inter alia, to the following factors:-

5. The period of an order referred to in 3 above shall not be capable of lasting beyond the date upon which any charge under the Rules of The Association or any Offence is decided or brought to an end.

6. Where an order is imposed on an individual under Regulation 3 above, The Association shall bring and conclude any proceedings under the Rules of The Association against the person relating to the matters as soon as reasonably practicable.

7. Where a person is convicted or is made the subject of a caution in respect of an Offence, that shall constitute a breach of the Rules of The Association and The Association shall have the power to order the suspension of the person from all or any specific football for such period (including indefinitely) and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

8. For the purposes of these Regulations, The Association shall act through its Council or any committee or sub-committee thereof, including the Board.

9. Notification in writing of an order referred to above shall be given to the person concerned and/or any club with which he is associated as soon as reasonably practicable.

CONCLUSION
The Football Association, through confirming this Policy Document, has indicated its determination to ensure that children and young people can participate in all forms of football activity and do so with their safety being of paramount importance.

It is essential that this document is representative of a process of continual improvement in the area of child protection within football. It is for all adults engaged in football activities to promote good practice and procedures, whilst being ever vigilant and aware of their responsibilities towards the children and young people in their care.