Welfare


Club Welfare Officer: Elaine Littler (elaine.littler@afc-darwen.com / 07943 279089)
AFC Darwen Anti Bullying Policy

AFC Darwen Anti Bullying Policy Statement of Intent
AFC Darwen are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our members so they can participate in football in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all our club members or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. “We are a TELLING club”. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the Club Welfare Officer or any committee member.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
• Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically) sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding football boots/shin guards, threatening gestures)
• Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
• Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
• Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
• Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
• Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.
Why is it important to respond to bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Individuals who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. The impact upon a child or young person can be devastating and in some cases affect all aspects of their life, in extreme circumstances it can lead to suicide threats or even attempts.
AFC Darwen has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this policy
• All club members, coaches, officials and parents/carers should have an understanding of what bullying is
• All club members, officials and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported
• All players and parents/carers should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises
• As a club we take bullying seriously. Players and parents/carers should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported
Cyberbullying
AFC Darwen will not tolerate ‘Direct’ or ‘Proxy’ Cyberbullying in any form. We expect ALL Club members to respect others and to take a stand against all forms of bullying.
Definitions:
• Cyberbullying – when a child, pre-teen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, social networking sites, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.
• Direct Cyberbullying – when a message is sent to children directly.
• Proxy Cyberbullying – when the instigator uses others to help cyberbully the victim, either with or without the accomplice’s knowledge.

If a registered player or Club member is found to be Cyberbullying another Football Club, player or Club member then full disciplinary procedures will be invoked which may result in that person being expelled from the Club.
These same disciplinary procedures apply equally to safeguard all adult Club members, managers, coaches, parents or guardians from any Club member who engages in, or condones bullying of any kind.
Remember that however good a child becomes at football within our club, you as parents and spectators have a very important role to play and that your positive encouragement will contribute to:

AFC Darwen Football Club Safeguarding Children Policy 2017

AFC Darwen Football Club Safeguarding Children Policy 2017 AFC Darwen acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every child and young person who has been entrusted to its care and is committed to working to provide a safe environment for all members. A child or young person is anyone under the age of 18 engaged any club football activity. AFC Darwen subscribe to The Football Association’s (The FA) Safeguarding Children – Policy and Procedures and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document.
The key principles of The FA Safeguarding Children 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, race, sexual orientation, faith or belief
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
• Working in partnership with other organisations, children and young people and their parents/carers is essential. We acknowledge that every child or young person who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse. AFC Darwen recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club.
AFC Darwen has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. It is noted and accepted that The Football Association’s Safeguarding Children Regulations (see The FA Handbook) applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This means whether you are a volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.
AFC Darwen adopt The FA’s Responsible Recruitment guidelines for recruiting volunteers and we will:
• Specify what the role is and what tasks it involves
• Request identification documents
• As a minimum meet and chat with the applicant(s) and where possible interview people before appointing them
• Ask for and follow up with 2 references before appointing someone
• Require an FA CRB Unit Enhanced Disclosure where appropriate in line with FA guidelines.
All current AFC Darwen members who are regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of children and young people will be required to complete a CRB Enhanced Disclosure via The FA CRB Unit1.
If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of AFC Darwen guidance will be sought from The Football Association.
It is noted and accepted that The FA will consider the relevance and significance of the information obtained via The FA CRB Unit Enhanced Disclosure and that all decisions will be made in the best interests of children and young people.
It is accepted that The FA aims to prevent people with a history of relevant and significant offending from having contact with children or young people and the opportunity to influence policies or practice with children or young people.
This is to prevent direct sexual or physical harm to children and to minimise the risk of ‘grooming’ within football.
AFC Darwen supports The FA’s Whistle blowing Policy.
Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague can ‘whistle blow’ by contacting The FA Safeguarding Team on 0207 745 4787, by writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, 25 Soho Square, W1D 4FA or alternatively by going direct to the Police, Children’s Services or the NSPCC. AFC Darwen encourages everyone to know about it and utilise it if necessary.
AFC Darwen has appointed a Club Welfare Officer in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion of the Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officers Workshop. The post holder will be involved with Welfare Officer Training provided by The FA and/or County FA.
The Club Welfare Officer is the first point of contact for all club members regarding concerns about the welfare of any child or young person. The Club Welfare Officer will liaise directly with the County FA (CFA) Welfare Officer and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. They will also play a proactive role in increasing awareness of Respect, poor practice and abuse amongst club members.
AFC Darwen acknowledges and endorse The FA’s identification of bullying as a category of abuse. Bullying of any kind is not acceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all players or parents/carers should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to the Club Welfare Officer in cases of serious bullying the CFA Welfare Officer may be contacted.
Respect codes of conduct for Players, Parents/Spectators, Officials and Coaches have been implemented by AFC Darwen. In order to validate these Respect codes of conduct the club has clear actions it will take regarding repeated or serious misconduct at club level and acknowledges the possibility of potential sanctions which may be implemented by the County FA in more serious circumstances.
Reporting your concerns about the welfare of a child or young person.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility if you are worried about a child it is important that you report your concerns – no action is not an option.
If you are worried about a child then you need to report your concerns to the Club Welfare Officer. If the issue is one of poor practice the Club Welfare Officer will either:
1. Deal with the matter themselves or
2. Seek advice from the CFA Welfare Officer
3. If the concern is more serious – possible child abuse, where possible, contact the CFA Welfare Officer first, then immediately contact the Police or Children’s Services
4. If the child needs immediate medical treatment take them to a hospital or call an ambulance and tell them this is a child protection concern.
Let Club Welfare Officer know what action you have taken, they in turn will inform the CFA Welfare Officer. If at any time you are not able to contact your Club Welfare Officer or the matter is clearly serious then you can either:
• Contact your CFA Welfare Officer directly
• Contact the Police or Children’s Services
• Call the FA/NSPCC 24 hour Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or Deaf users text phone 0800 056 0566 NB – The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures are available via www.TheFA.com/Footballsafe – click on the ‘downloads’ under Policy and Procedures. The policy outlines in detail what to do if you are concerned about the welfare of a child and includes flow diagrams which describe this process. How to make a referral is also covered in the Safeguarding Children workshop. Participants are given the opportunity to discuss how this feels and how best they can prepare themselves to deal with such a situation. For more information on this workshop contact your County Welfare Officer.

Further advice on Safeguarding Children matters can be obtained from:
AFC Darwen Welfare Officer: Elaine Littler
TEL: 01254 583078
Email: elaine.littler@afc-darwen.com

Lancashire Football Association Welfare Officer: Neil Yates
TEL: 01772 624000
Neil.Yates@lancashirefa.com

www.TheFA.com/Footballsafe
Emailing – Footballsafe@TheFA.com
The FA Safeguarding Children general enquiry line 0845 210 8080

Code of Conduct

It is the responsibility of club officials, managers, players, parents and spectators to comply with the FA Respect Code of Conduct. The following pages explain, role by role, what these responsibilities are. They are intended to ensure everyone enjoys the sport of football and provide players and match officials with a safe environment in which to learn and develop.

Additional Club Policies/Procedures etc. include:

• Club Membership
• Club Mission Statement
• Child Protection
• Anti-Bullying
• Equality
• Whistleblowing
• Social Networking
• Photography
• Goal Post Safety
• Complaints Procedure
• Volunteer Recruitment

Code of Conduct: Adult Players

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game.
Players tell us they want a referee for every match, yet 7,000 match official’s drop out each season because of the abuse and intimidation they receive on and off the pitch. Respect your referee today and you may just get one for every match this season. Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect Code of Conduct for players at all times.
On and off the field, I will:
• Adhere to the Laws of the Game
• Display and promote high standards of behaviour
• Promote fair play and behave within the spirit of the Laws of the Game
• Always respect the match officials’ decisions
• Never engage in public criticism of the match officials
• Never engage in offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
• Avoid bullying, intimidation and poor behaviour
• Speak to my team-mates, the opposition and my coach/manager with respect
• Ask my team captain to talk to the referee if I have a problem relating to the game
• Remember we all make mistakes
• Shake hands with the opposing team and the match officials at the end of every game

I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by my County FA and /or The FA.

Code of Conduct: Young Players

It is important everyone behaves themselves when playing football.
As a player, you have a big part to play. That’s why The FA is asking every player to follow a Respect Code of Conduct.
When playing football, I will:
• Always do my best, even if we’re losing or the other team is stronger
• Play fairly – I won’t cheat, complain or waste time
• Never be rude to my team-mates, the other team, the referee, spectators or my coach/team manager
• Do what the referee tells me
• Shake hands with the other team and referee at the end of the game
• Listen to my coach/team manager and respect what he/she says
• Talk to someone I trust, for example my parents or the club welfare officer if I’m unhappy about anything at my club.

I understand that if I do not follow the code, action may be taken against me.

The Captain’s role

As your team’s captain, you have a vital role to play in helping us achieve the number one priority for footballers in The FA’s biggest-ever survey of grassroots football – a referee for every game.

Thousands of referees are dropping out each season because of the abuse and intimidation they receive. It ruins games and can cause matches to be abandoned. Then we’ve all lost.
Captain taking responsibility

As a captain, you have no special status or privileges under the Laws of the Game, but you do have a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of your team. To promote Respect, the referee will work with you, as the team captain, to manage the players and the game effectively.

Even if you are some way away from an incident when the referee feels he/she needs you involved in a discussion with a player, the referee will call you over. This will ensure that, as the team captain, you remain the point of contact for the referee. To find out more about how referees and captains need to work together as part of Respect, How Captains can help to instill Respect:
• Ensure you wear a Respect captain’s armband – these will be provided by your league to your club
• Together with your opposition captain, make yourself known to the referee before the game. He/she will ask if you are clear about your responsibilities
• Ensure all your players understand what they can/cannot do in relation to the referee and what is meant by ‘unwanted behaviour’. No-one’s trying to curb enthusiasm – just instill more discipline. This can only benefit your match – and football as a whole
• Ensure your vice-captain (appoint one if you haven’t got one) is aware of these rules, in case you are unavailable for a game, or have to leave the field
• Ensure every player in your team has signed the Respect Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct: Coaches

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game.
In The FA’s survey of over 37,000 grassroots participants, behaviour was the biggest concern in the game. This included both the abuse of match officials and the unacceptable behaviour by over competitive parents, spectators and coaches on the sidelines.

The FA’s Respect programme is aimed at tackling unacceptable behaviour across the whole game. 

Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect Code of Conduct for coaches, team managers and club officials at all times.
I will:
• Show respect to others involved in the game including match officials, opposition
players, coaches, managers, officials and spectators
• Adhere to the Laws of the Game
• Display and promote high standards of behaviour
• Always respect the match officials’ decisions
• Never enter the field of play without the referee’s permission
• Never engage in public criticism of the match officials
• Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour.

When working with players, I will:
• Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment of each player above everything, including winning
• Explain exactly what I expect of players and what they can expect from me
• Ensure the parents/carers of all players under the age of 18 understand these expectations
• Refrain from, and refuse to tolerate any form of bullying
• Develop mutual trust and respect with every player to build their self-esteem
• Encourage each player to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance
• Ensure all activities I organise are appropriate for the players’ ability level, experience, age and maturity
• Co-operate fully with others in football (e.g. officials, doctors, physiotherapists, welfare officers) for each player’s best interests
I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by my County FA and /or The FA.

Code of Conduct: Spectators

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game. This club is supporting The FA’s Respect programme to ensure football can be enjoyed by everyone in a safe and positive environment. Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect Code of Conduct for spectators and parents/carers at all times.
I will:
• Remain outside the field of play and behind the Designated Spectator Area (where provided)
• Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
• Always respect the match officials’ decisions
• Applaud effort and good play as well as success

In addition, when attending youth games, I will:
• Remember that children play for FUN
• Let the coaches do their job and not confuse the players by telling them what to do
• Encourage the players to respect the opposition and match officials
• Never criticise a player for making a mistake -mistakes are part of learning

Note:
AFC Darwen does not accept heavy defeats being shouted about across social media, as it always puts the interest of young people first irrespective of whether they are AFC Darwen player

I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by my County FA and /or The FA.

Failure to adhere by the FA Respect code could lead to the following sanctions:

Parents, Guardians and Carers

AFC Darwen does not accept heavy defeats being shouted about across social media, as it always puts the interest of young people first irrespective of whether they are AFC Darwen players. If a parent, guardian or carer does not follow the Code, any/all of the following actions may be taken by AFC Darwen, County FA, league or The FA:

The person concerned may be:
• Issued with a verbal warning from AFC Darwen or league official
• Required to meet with the AFC Darwen Committee, league or County FA Welfare Officer
• Obliged to undertake an FA education course
• Obliged to leave the match venue by an AFC Darwen official
• Requested by AFC Darwen not to attend future games

In addition:

The FA/County FA could impose a fine and/or suspension on AFC Darwen.

Players

The person concerned may:
• Be required to apologise to his/her team-mates, the other team, referee or team manager
• Receive a formal warning from the Manager or AFC Darwen Committee
• Be dropped or substituted
• Be suspended from training
• Be required to leave AFC Darwen

Adult players may also:
• Receive a written warning from the club
• Be required to attend an FA education course
• Not be selected for the team
• Be required to serve a suspension
• Be fined

In addition:

• AFC Darwen, County FA or The FA may make a young person’s parent or carer aware of any infringements of the Code of Conduct
• The FA/County FA could impose a fine and suspension against AFC Darwen

The person concerned may also be:

Be suspended or have his/her AFC Darwen club membership removed and required to leave AFC Darwen along with any dependents.

Coaches, team managers or club officials

The person concerned may be:

• Required to meet with the club, league or County Welfare Officer
• Required to meet with the club committee
• Monitored by another club coach
• Required to attend an FA education course
• Suspended by the club from attending 4matches
• Suspended or fined by the County FA
• Required to leave or be sacked by the club.

AFC Darwen Complaints Procedure

AFC Darwen Complaints ProcedureIn the event that any member feels that he or she has suffered discrimination in any way or that the Club Policies, Rules or Code of Conduct have been broken, they should follow the procedures below.
1. They should report the matter to the Club Secretary, Welfare Officer or another member of the Committee.
Your report should include:
1. Details of what, when and where the occurrence took place.
2. Any witness statement and names
3. Names of any others who have been treated in a similar way.
4. Details of any former complaints about the incident, date, when and to whom made.
5. A preference for a solution to the incident.

2. The Club’s Management Committee will sit for any hearings that are requested.

3. The Club’s Management Committee will have the power to:
1. Warn as to future conduct
2. Suspend from membership
3. Remove from membership
for any person found to have broken the Club’s Policies or Codes of Conduct

AFC Darwen Equality Policy

AFC Darwen Equality PolicyThe aim of this policy is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect and that our club is equally accessible to all.
AFC Darwen is responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout the club at every level. Football belongs to and should be enjoyed by anyone who wants to participate in it.

AFC Darwen in all its activities will not discriminate or in any way, treat anyone less favourably on grounds of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability. The club will ensure it treats people fairly and with respect and that it will provide access and opportunities for all members of the community to take part in and enjoy its activities.
AFC Darwen will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of an individual, which for the purposes of this policy and the actions and sanction applicable is regarded as discrimination. This includes sexual or racially based harassment or other discrimatory behaviour, whether physical or verbal. The club will work to ensure that such behaviour is met with appropriate action in whatever context it occurs.
This policy is fully supported by the Club Officers who are responsible for the implementation of this policy.
AFC Darwen is committed to taking positive action where inequalities exist and to the development of a programme of ongoing training and awareness raising events and activities in order to promote the eradication of discrimination and Football Club is committed to taking positive action where inequalities programme of ongoing training and awareness raising events and activities in order to promote the exist and to the development of a promote equality in football.
AFC Darwen is committed to a policy of equal treatment of all members and requires all members to abide and adhere to these policies and the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
AFC Darwen commits itself to the immediate investigation of any claims when brought to its attention, of discrimination on the above grounds and where such is found to be the case, a requirement that the practice stop and sanctions are imposes as appropriate.
OUR COMMITMENT is to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability and to encourage equal opportunities.

AFC Darwen Mission Statement

AFC Darwen Mission Statement AFC Darwen Juniors Football Club aim to provide a safe environment for players of all abilities, to learn, develop and enjoy playing football as a community sport, with community values.
For players to enjoy and take part in football, we will ensure that they are encouraged to:
• Take an active part in the sport
• Form relationships and work together
• Develop their skills and improve over time
• Be able to take part whatever their ability
• Develop personal skills in key areas: technical, psychological, physical and social
• Appreciate and demonstrate a good sporting attitude
• Understand the laws of the game
• Be listened to and valued
• Be positive about themselves and others
For players to feel safe whilst learning and playing we will ensure that:
• The Respect Code is understood and upheld by all who are involved in our club – parents, spectators, players, coaches and officials
• Laws relating to child protection are maintained and the Club’s child protection policy is understood and followed
• All the teams are supported by coaches qualified to at least FA 1st 4 Sport Level 1 and with in-date Safeguarding Children and First Aid training
• All Managers, Assistant Managers, Coaches and Officials who have connections with the Junior teams all hold current Enhanced CRB Certificates
• Equipment and facilities and the maintenance of both are of the highest standard
• No child will be excluded from participating in football on the grounds of gender, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation
• Club policy relating to bullying is understood and seen to be followed
For players to learn and develop we will ensure that:
• Manager/Coaches place player development above a culture of ‘winning at all costs’
• Manager/Coaches are well qualified and encouraged in continuing professional development
• Manager/Coaches are positive, friendly and supportive to all players

• Manager/Coaches’ decisions are respected and understood by parents and players
• Players understand what stage they are at and how to progress
• Players, parents managers and coaches are encouraged to get involved with the club via refereeing and coaching qualifications, running the line, joining or taking on key roles and responsibilities
• Exceptional players are given opportunities beyond the club
• Teams are given opportunities to play in tournaments and arrange team events
• The achievements and progress of all players are celebrated at the end of the season
• Every player matters to the team and to AFC Darwen Junior FC
For the Club to promote community sport with community values, we will ensure that:
• Parents are valued, welcomed and encouraged to play a key role in supporting and bringing our ethos to life
• The Club communicates its ethos clearly and consistently in all it does and through each of its members
• The Respect Code is at the very heart of all we do at training and on match day and in whatever capacity – player, spectator, coach, parent, official
• The Club’s interests and achievements are well publicised, recognised and represented at all levels to celebrate and develop all we do
• The Club fosters and develops partnerships with key community groups such as schools, the Town Council and other sporting clubs to work together in the service of youth sport
• We welcome and respond to feedback and input from all those associated with the Club to make us fully accountable to our members

AFC Darwen Photography Policy

AFC Darwen Photography Policy Potential risks
The FA has developed this guidance to help avoid the following:
• The inappropriate use, adaptation or copying of images for use on child abuse websites on the internet (often incorrectly referred to as pornography sites)
• The identification of children when a photograph is accompanied by significant personal information that will assist a third party in identifying the child. This can lead, and has led, to children being ‘groomed’
• The identification and locating of children in inappropriate circumstances which include: (i) where a child has been removed from his/her family for their own safety; (ii) where restrictions on contact with one parent following a parental separation exist e.g. in domestic violence cases; (iii) in situations where a child may be a witness in criminal proceedings; or (iv) other safeguarding children concerns.
It’s important to remember the majority of images taken are appropriate and taken in good faith. If AFC Darwen take the following simple measure’s we can help to ensure the safety of children in football
AFC Darwen will
Do:
1. Share The FA’s guidance on taking images with all parents, carers and members when they join the club
2. Ensure the club has parental consent to use a player’s image if it is to be used in the public domain e.g. club website or newspaper article. This is essential in relation to point 3 below
3. Ensure that any child in your club who is under care proceedings, is protected by ensuring that their image is not placed in the public domain. This will be done by using a Consent Form, so that parents/carers can identify whether this applies to children in their care
4. Focus on the activity rather than the individual
5. Ensure all those featured are appropriately dressed (a minimum of vest or shirt and shorts)
6. 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.

Don’t:
1. Publish photographs with the full name(s) of the individual(s) featured unless you have written consent to do so and you have informed the parents as to how the image will be used

2. Use player profiles with pictures and detailed personal information on websites
3. Use an image for something other than that which it was initially agreed, e.g. published in local press when initially produced for a clubhouse commemorative picture
4. Allow images to be recorded in changing rooms, showers or toilets – this includes the use of mobile phones that record images.
Filming as a coaching aid
The FA advises that coaches using videoing as a legitimate coaching aid should make parents/carers and players aware that this will be part of the coaching programme.
Care should be taken when storing the videos

AFC Darwen Social Networking Policy

AFC Darwen Social Networking Policy The Football Associations view is:
Coaches, referees mentors, club officials and others in a position of trust in football need to act responsibly both on and off the field and this includes the use of electronic communications. Therefore The FA would suggest that as a general principle Coaches, Managers etc. should avoid using social networking sites as the primary way of communicating with players.
This is also the view of AFC Darwen
AFC Darwen is committed to the safety and wellbeing of every child and young person under the age of 18, by providing ‘Best Practice’ guidance whilst entrusted in its care. (See AFC Darwen’s Child Protection Policy).
AFC Darwen acknowledges that members may choose to communicate information that provides a messaging service through Social Networking sites. However, the use of ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘YouTube’ or other Social Networking sites, must be managed appropriately. It is against FA and Club rules to post comments that are or may be conceived as:- offensive, insulting, abusive, threatening, racist, harassment, homophobic or any other reference that may cause offence or harm to other members of AFC Darwen or bring the Club into disrepute as a result. Any evidence of this will be brought before the Executive Committee and dealt with accordingly. Coaches, Managers, Assistant Managers, Referees or Officials are not recommended to use Social Networking sites as a source of communicating messages to team players under the age of 18, unless that member is a close relative and Club Officials, Referees, Managers, Coaches should NOT accept these as ‘friends’. This not only safeguards the young person, but also the adult. Please Note: Further details can be found on the F.A.’s website (see ‘Using texts and e-mails with U18’s – Do’s and Don’ts).
PLEASE NOTE:
Only those aged 13 or above should be registered on ‘Facebook’.
It is AFC Darwen’s Policy that no Official, Manager, Assistant Manager Coach use any web based communication to contact children or young people involved in youth football or send personal

messages (which could be misinterpreted) and any correspondence that might be entered into should etc.), and not in a derogatory way and must only be sent to the parent/guardian. Club members and parents are asked not to make reference to any match results on social media which could cause a child to feel uncomfortable or cause them distress. Children and young people should be advised that any inappropriate communication from other club members (whether they be Officials, Manager/Assistant, Coach, Parents/Guardians or another young person), should be reported to their parent/guardian or Club Welfare Officer in the first instance and a record MUST be kept as evidence, should the matter be taken further. Evidence may be a print out, saved web page or similar in order for the inappropriate communication to be verified. Inappropriate behaviour via Social Networking Sites, texts etc. will be dealt with by the Club who may deem it necessary to report the matter to the service provider as routine.
Anyone involved within AFC Darwen, holding a position of trust are also vulnerable and the points raised above MUST be adhered to.
Mobile numbers or e-mail addresses of children, referees etc. under 18 must NOT be hosted onto AFC Darwen’s Club web pages where any member of the public can easily access details or profile. These can be held securely and in private areas for the purpose of football related activities, with the written consent of the parent/guardian.
AFC Darwen would like to acknowledge assistance in accordance with the FA’s ‘Best Practice’ guidelines for Officials, Parents/Carers, Managers/Assistants and Coaches.

AFC Darwen Whistleblowing Policy

AFC Darwen Whistleblowing Policy Reporting your concerns about the welfare of a child or young person – Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. If you are worried about a child it is important that you report your concerns – no action is not an option.
If you are worried about a child then you need to report your concerns to AFC Darwen Welfare Officer
If the issue is one of poor practice they will either:
a. deal with the matter themselves or
b. seek advice from the LFA Welfare Officer
If the concern is more serious – possible child abuse – they will, where possible, contact the LFA Welfare Officer first, then immediately contact the Police or Children’s Services
• If the child needs immediate medical treatment arrangements will be made to take them to a hospital or call an ambulance and tell them this is a child protection concern. The matter will immediately be reported to the LFA Welfare Officer
• If at any time are not able to contact your Club Welfare Officer or the matter is clearly serious then you can either:
1. contact your LFA Welfare Officer direct
2. contact the Police or Children’s Social Care
3. call the NSPCC 24 hour Helpline for advice
Useful Numbers:
AFC Darwen Welfare Officer: 01254 5830748
Lancashire Football Association Welfare Officer: 01772 624000
NSPCC 24 hour Helpine –
• Telephone: 0808 800 5000
• Email: help@nspcc.org.uk
• Text 88858
Police: 101
CEOP: -Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre address is:
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
33 Vauxhall Bridge Road
London SW1V 2WG
Please be advised that the CEOP Reception is manned from 09:00 till 17:00, Monday to Fridays.

Contact them by
• online contact form: : https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
• Telephone: +44 (0)870 000 3344
Children Social Care:
Phone Number(s) 01254 666400 (8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday)
Fax Number(s) 0845 606 6654
E-mail: CYPReferrals@blackburn.gov.uk
Extra Information
Out of hours – Emergency Duty Team: 01254 587547