Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club (CAWFC) acknowledges and accepts, as one of its responsibilities, the well-being and safety of those children and young persons who partake in activities in the name of the club. It does so in the belief that placing their welfare at the centre of its concerns provides a solid foundation for the development of young persons and for good Child Protection and Safeguarding practice.

A Football Club Dedicated To Welfare

CAWFC is a caring and responsible organisation. The policies and procedures as laid down in this document apply to all staff and volunteers.

Summary of Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club's Safeguarding Policy

CAWFC’s objectives for the development of young people accessing CAWFC’s programme are to:

  • Promote and support good outcomes in terms of health, development and educational achievement for all young people in turn raising both physical and mental wellbeing
  • Enable parents and other members of the young person’s family to be as involved as is practicable in a working partnership with CAWFC
  • Recognise the significance of cultural diversity
  • Acknowledge its responsibility to set high sporting and social standards of behaviour, be honest and take the feelings of others into account
  • Celebrate young people’s success and recognise achievement, effort and good behaviour
  • Provide a disciplined and progressive environment where young people will work together taking a pride in themselves and their surroundings

1. Safeguarding

1.1 CAWFC accepts and adheres to The Football Association Safeguarding Policy. Along with this, the club adopts the guidelines and procedures on safeguarding as laid down in the “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015” and “Keeping Children Safe in Education April 2015” (Department of Education). CAWFCs Safeguarding Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis in consultation with the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT). 

1.2 CAWFC recognises that the Children Services Department, the NSPCC and the Police have a statutory duty to protect children and young persons at risk. The club accepts that it must work in partnership with the relevant enforcement agencies when a safeguarding issue arises.

1.3 CAWFC has an appointed Safeguarding Lead who works for CACT.

Definition of a Child 

For the purpose of this Policy a child or young person is defined as being under the age of 18 or 25 if they have a learning disability.

Definitions of Abuse

Physical Abuse

This includes hitting, burning and biting, giving children alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poison, attempt to suffocate or drown young children, excessive or inappropriate training regimes and use of drugs to enhance performance or delay puberty.


This includes failure to meet a young person’s basic needs (e.g for food, warm clothing etc.), leaving children alone or unsupervised and or fail to ensure children/young people are safe or expose them to undue extremes of weather or risk of injury (e.g through unsafe equipment). Neglect can also be in the form of emotional neglect where a child or young person lives in an environment of low warmth, stimulation & affection.

Emotional Abuse

This can include persistent lack of love and affection, young people that are constantly threatened or taunted, adults whose overwhelming ambition exceeds that of the young person and persistent disregard of a child’s or young person’s effort or progress.

Sexual Abuse

This includes situations where adults use children to meet their own sexual needs. This includes sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse or fondling, as well as showing pornographic videos or magazines, or taking photos of children or young people for inappropriate use.


It is now recognised that for all categories of abuse, the abuser may not always be an adult but could be a child or young person. Bullying may be seen as deliberate, hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves.


Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind. Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.

2. Key principles of the Policy are:

  • The child’s or young person’s welfare is and must always be the paramount consideration
  • All children and young people have the right to be protected and listened to
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly
  • As above in point 1.2 working in partnership with other organisations, the young people and children and their parents and carers are essential

CAWFC has a clear role to play in safeguarding children and young people by protecting them from, physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. This applies to all persons working or playing for the club whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.

3. Safer Recruitment and Training

3.1  CAWFC recognises the importance of Safer Recruitment. All staff engaged in regulated activity (as set down via the statutory guidance for Government) whether they are full time, casual or voluntary should undergo the following checks and procedures:

  • Complete an application and attend an interview
  • Provide two references from two different professional sources
  • Be able to prove identity with two different forms of ID
  • Be able to prove the right to work in the UK
  • Undergo a DBS Enhanced Disclosure producing the necessary documents (referencing the statutory guidance regulated activity). This will also include checks against the barred list if appropriate.
  • Attend a CAWFC Induction process where the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures will be explained
  • Have attended the FA Safeguarding workshop
  • CAWFC will ensure all staff have an opportunity to attend relevant courses such as the course provided by the Greenwich Safeguarding Children and the London Borough of Bexley Safeguarding Boards
  • The DBS clearance must be renewed every three years
  • Training will have to be undertaken by all staff every three years. Staff will be required to attend the FA Safeguarding workshop. 

All staff will be required to familiarise themselves with the content of their job descriptions around their responsibilities for safeguarding children.

Any issues relating to concerns over disclosures on the DBS will be discussed in terms of the risk that disclosure poses to children by the Management Board & the Safeguarding Officer. The owner of the DBS will also be invited to this meeting.

4. Whistle blowing

CAWFC is committed to achieving the highest possible standards of service and the highest possible ethical standards in public life and in all of its practices. To achieve these ends, it encourages freedom of speech. It also encourages staff ti use internal mechanisms for reporting any malpractice or illegal acts or omissions by its employees or ex-employees. 

5. Designated Person

5.1 CAWFC in line with the FA policies and procedures has appointed a designated person to deal with first reports of poor practice or abuse. This person will be known as the Safeguarding Officer but will perform the same functions as the FA’s Club Welfare Officer. This falls in line with the recommendations from the FA. The Safeguarding Officer will provide support to colleagues in CAWFC as and when appropriate regarding safeguarding concerns.

5.2 The Safeguarding Officer will receive the first reports of poor practice and or abuse and will liaise with the relevant services to report the concerns be it the Local Authority designated officer, MASH teams, Children’s Social Care, the Police or the County FA Welfare Officer.

5.3  The CAWFC Safeguarding Officer and the Charlton Athletic FC Safeguarding Officer will meet on a quarterly basis as a ,eams to develop Safeguarding Policies and Procedures and share and develop best practice.

6. Identification and Referral of Child Abuse

6.1  The protection of children and young people is the proper concern of everyone in a position to help. All staff and volunteers at the club who are involved with children and young persons will be made aware of how to recognise child abuse and make appropriate referrals to the Safeguarding Officer. Training in this will be provided by the club in the form of the FA/NSPCC accredited “Safeguarding Children” course. All staff will be required to renew this every three years. Additional training is provided by the Greenwich and London Borough of Bexley Children’s Safeguarding Board and staff will be able to access these courses as well.

In additional any child or young person who is subject to a child protection plan, who are looked after or subject to any other interventions will be supported in conjunction with and guided by the statutory services and professionals

7. Reporting Procedures

7.1 If there are concerns about a child or young person then report this to the CAWFC’s Safeguarding Officer and inform the person’s line manager unless they are part of allegation.

7.2 If the issue is one of poor practice then CAWFC’s Safeguarding Officer will either:

  • Deal with the matter internally with the support of the relevant line manager
  • Seek advice from the CFA Welfare Officer

7.3 If the concern is one of abuse then the CAWFC referral form can be used to report this to the CAWFC Safeguarding Officer who will either contact the Police, Children’s Services, Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH Team) or the Local Authority Designated Officer or all or some depending on the nature of the concern. The CAWFC Safeguarding Officer will also contact the relevant CFA Welfare Officer and FA Case Manager if the concern is a football related one. 

7.4 If the allegation is against the Safeguarding officer then all information should be directed to the CAWFC Chairman – Management Committee who will action as above.

7.5  The same procedure will be in place if the Safeguarding Officer is absent.

7.6 If the child or young person needs immediate medical treatment they should be taken to hospital or an ambulance called. If the latter is the case then the ambulance staff should be informed that there is a child protection concern. The CAWFC Safeguarding Officer should then be informed to take the necessary actions in point 7.3.

8. Managing allegations against staff and volunteers

All allegations will be taken seriously particularly if they:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates she/he is unsuitable to work with children

First reports can be made to line managers who will inform the Safeguarding Officer or reports can go straight to the Safeguarding Officer.

Once received the Safeguarding Officer will investigate the case and then bring in appropriate responses. These could include:

  • Referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
  • Referral to DBS
  • If football related informing the County FA or FA Case Management Team
  • Referal to the Police if the case is of a serious enough nature
  • Suspension of the member of staff or volunteer whilst the investigation happens
  • The Safeguarding Officer or designated person shall also be responsible for contacting the parents/carers of the child

Possible outcomes will be as follows:

  • A police investigation of a possible criminal offence
  • Enquiries and assessment by children’s social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services
  • Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual

The Safeguarding Officer will be responsible for the recording all safeguarding issues and updating records kept about the latter and any referrals made. These records will be kept in a designated locked cabinet and only be accessible to the Safeguarding Officer and the Club Secretary.

9. Access to the CAWFC Safeguarding Policy

The Safeguarding Policy will be accessible to parents, carers, children and young people in hard copy and via the CAWFC website and to coaches and staff via the intranet alongside other policies. This will also be available in accessible formats.

10. Use of Mobile Phones/social networking sites and communication to children or young people

  • All staff must communicate to children and young people in an appropriate manner
  • Staff wishing to communicate with children and young people outside of CAWFC activities must do so via parents and carers
  • No mobile phone numbers or E-mail addresses should be taken and stored on devices belonging to a member of staff

Staff must not use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter to communicate with children and young people on CAWFC programmes. CAWFC Twitter and Facebook pages do exist where non-personalised messages can be sent to groups involved in CAWFC, for example to advise on the cancellation of training sessions/matches or as a reminder about events.

If a young person tries to establish a relationship with an employee or member of staff, this request must be denied and the Safeguarding Officer informed so that they can liaise with that child’s/young person’s parents/carers

11. Photographic Policy

CAWFC will not allow photographs or videos to be taken of children or young people unless there is specific parental/carer written consent.

Parents and carers and the children and young people will be informed of the use of the images as well, and where possible be given copies of these.

No personal cameras/phones etc may be used to record such images.

When images are published, CAWFC will not identify the name of the child/young person.

12. Codes of Conduct

All staff will be asked to sign codes of conduct which sets out the working practices and parameters of their responsibilities and engagement.

Where appropriate, parents/careers and children and young people will be asked to sign codes of conduct setting out their responsibilities and expected standards of behaviour. A clear list of sanctions is also available to view, setting out CAWFC responses to non-compliance to these codes.

13. Discrimination

CAWFC will not accept any behaviour and or language that is considered to be discriminatory, with prejudice, or is oppressive towards any race, gender, culture, age, disability, religion, sexuality or political persuasion. 

14. Disabled Children and Vulnerable Adults

Children and young people with a disability are at an increased risk of abuse. This could be due to:

  • Lack of peer group support
  • Intimate / physical care / invasive medical care meaning that the young person does not know what is appropriate and non-appropriate touch
  • Communication difficulties
  • Difficulty in resisting and reporting abuse
  • Multiple carers
  • Dependant on a potential abuser for basic needs
  • Having medical conditions that could be used to falsely explain non accidental injuries

CAWFC will ensure that staff working with disabled children and young adults:

  • Learn the child’s/young person’s communication methods
  • Ensure the young person’s needs are known
  • Ensure care plans are in place
  • Give the child or young person the opportunity to make informed choices
  • Have clear strategies to deal with difficult behaviour  

An adult at risk is defined by the provision of support and care they are receiving. By having a disability or mental health issue alone this may not constitute that they are an adult at risk. If they receive support i.e. by a statutory service to enable them to deal with everyday living then they would most likely meet the definition.

15. Monitoring and Review

CAWFC Safeguarding Policy will be renewed on an annual basis usually to coincide with the start of the new football season. The Policy may also be updated if there are organisational changes or changes due to safeguarding issues or new legislation.