RUSSELL MARTIN FOUNDATION SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY AND PROCEDURES

This policy is provided so that all representatives of the Russell Martin Foundation understand their safeguarding responsibilities and are aware of the policies and procedures in place to deal with such issues. It is important that this policy is discussed by the board of trustees. The Russell Martin Foundation must ensure it adheres to this policy in full. The Russell Martin Foundation designated Welfare Officer is an integral requirement of this policy.

Download our RMF Safeguarding Children Policy

The Russell Martin Foundation 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 in any Russell Martin Foundation activity. We 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 Russell Martin Foundation 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 activity should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment, protected from poor practice and abuse.

The Russell Martin Foundation recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our organisation.

The Russell Martin Foundation 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 applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This applies whether you are a representative of the Russell Martin Foundation as a volunteer, coach, trustee, full-time/part-time member of staff or associate partner of the charity.

We endorse and adopt The FA’s Responsible Recruitment guidelines for recruiting Russell Martin Foundation staff and volunteers, 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 CRC Enhanced Disclosure where appropriate in line with FA policy.

All current Russell Martin Foundation members who are regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of children and young people will be required to complete a CRC Enhanced Disclosure via The FA CRC Unit.

If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of the Russell Martin Foundation 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 Russell Martin Foundation 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 our services.

The Russell Martin Foundation 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 0844 980 8200 4787, by writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London SW10 9EQ or alternatively by going direct to the Police, Children’s Social Care or the NSPCC. The Russell Martin Foundation encourages everyone to know about it and utilise it if necessary.

The Russell Martin Foundation has appointed Donna Cox, as the organisation’s 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. Donna Cox is the first point of contact for all Russell Martin Foundation members regarding concerns about the welfare of any child or young person. Donna Cox will liaise directly with the County FA (CFA) Welfare Officer and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. Donna will also play a proactive role in increasing awareness of Respect, poor practice and abuse amongst Russell Martin Foundation members.

We acknowledge and endorse The FA’s identification of bullying as a category of abuse. Bullying of any kind is not acceptable at the Russell Martin Foundation. If bullying does occur, all players, staff, volunteers, trustees or associate partners should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to Donna Cox, Welfare Officer and in cases of serious bullying the Sussex County FA Welfare Officer may be contacted to seek further guidance.

Respect codes of conduct for participants, parents/spectators, staff, volunteers, trustees and associate partners have been implemented by the Russell Martin Foundation. To validate these Respect codes of conduct the Russell Martin Foundation has clear actions it will take regarding repeated or serious misconduct and acknowledges the possibility of potential sanctions which may be implemented by the Russell Martin Foundation 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.
i. If you are worried about a child then you need to report your concerns to the Russell Martin Foundation Welfare Officer.
ii. If the issue is one of poor practice the Russell Martin Foundation Welfare Officer will either:
• deal with the matter themselves or
• seek advice from the Sussex County FA Welfare Officer
iii. If the concern is more serious – possible child abuse, where possible, contact the Sussex County FA Welfare Officer first, then immediately contact the Police or Children’s Social Care.
iv. 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 the Russell Martin Foundation Welfare Officer know what action you have taken, they in turn will inform the Sussex County FA Welfare Officer.
v. If at any time, you are not able to contact the Russell Martin Foundation Welfare Officer or the matter is clearly serious then you can either:
• contact the Sussex County FA Welfare Officer directly
• contact the Police or Children’s Social Care
• call the NSPCC 24 hour Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or text 88858 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

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 the Sussex County FA Welfare Officer.

Further advice required

Further advice on Safeguarding Children matters can be obtained from:
• Donna Cox, Russell Martin Foundation Welfare Officer
T: 01273 591 364
E: Donna.Cox@rmfoundation.co.uk

• Sandra Redhead, Sussex County Football Association’s Welfare Officer
T: 01903 766855
E: Sandra.redhead@sussexfa.com

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