Child Welfare

David Whitfield - Child Welfare Officer

As Thirsk Falcons Child Welfare Officer (CWO) I take the job very seriously indeed. Our club has a legal responsibility to provide a duty of care. This is the duty to make sure all reasonable steps are taken to ensure your children whilst in our charge are safe. This duty of care is extended by a moral responsibility to develop a culture in which your children can take part in football in a safe and enjoyable environment. I have two main principles which are very important and are as follows:

  1. The right of all children and young people to be protected from abuse, regardless of their age, culture, gender, disability, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity.

  2. Your child’s welfare is, and must always be, the most important consideration. If you have any queries regarding child welfare at Thirsk Falcons please don’t hesitate to contact me in complete confidence.

All complaints will be dealt with under the current FA’s reporting procedure.

You can also speak to any of the coaches and committee members involved with the club regarding any child welfare concerns you may have.  

To contact David Whitfield - 07957 714 904 click here to email me

Thirsk Falcons FC Child Protection Policy 

1. Thirsk Falcons Football Club 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 club football activity. We subscribe to The Football Association’s child protection and best practice policy and procedures and endorse and adopt the policy statement contained in that document.

2. The key principles of The FA Child Protection 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 orsexual orientation 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 or 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. Thirsk Falcons Football Club recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our club. 

3. Thirsk Falcons Football Club 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 child protection regulation (see The FA Handbook) applies to everyone in football whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This includes those who are a volunteer, match official, helper on club tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.

4. We endorse and adopt The FA’s Child Protection and Best Practice Guidelines for Recruiting Volunteers and will: Develop a role profile Request identification documents As a minimum meet and chat with the applicant(s) and where possible conduct interviews before appointing Request and follow up with two references before appointing Require an FA DBS Unit Enhanced Disclosure where appropriate in line with FA guidelines.

All current Thirsk Falcons Football Club members with direct access to children and young people will be required to complete a DBS Enhanced Disclosure via The FA DBS Unit. If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of Thirsk Falcons Football Club, 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 DBS Unit Enhanced DBS 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. 

5. Thirsk Falcons Football Club supports The FA’s ‘whistle blowing’ policy. Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague can ‘whistle blow’ by contacting The FA Child Protection Manager on 0207 745 4771, by writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, 25 Soho Square, London W1D 4FA or by going direct to the police, social services or the NSPCC. Thirsk Falcons Football Club encourages everyone to know about it and utilise it if necessary. 

6. Thirsk Falcons Football Club has appointed a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion of the child protection and best practice workshop. The post holder will be involved with designated person’s training provided by The FA. The CWO is the first point of contact for all club members and parents or guardians regarding concerns for the welfare of any child or young person. They will liaise directly with the CFA CPO and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. They will also play a proactive role in increasing an awareness of poor practice and abuse amongst club members. 

7. We acknowledge 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, parents or guardians should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to the CWO, a member of the committee or, in cases of serious bullying contact the CFA CPO.

8. Codes of conduct for players, parents or spectators, officials and coaches have been implemented by Thirsk Falcons Football Club. In order to validate these codes of conduct the club has clear sanctions to deal with any misconduct at club level and acknowledges the possibility of potential sanctions which may be implemented by leagues or the CFA in more serious circumstances. All prospective members will be informed of these codes.

9. Further advice on child protection matters can be obtained from:

The County Football Association’s Child Protection Officer, whose details can be found in the County Handbook

The Football Association/NSPCC Child Protection 24-Hour Helpline 0808 800 5000

Safeguarding - Rules & Regulations | The Football Association (