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Club Child Welfare Officer

The club Child Welfare Officer plays a fundamental role in the creation of a child-centred ethos that promotes the positive aspects of football. 

This can be achieved by communicating to every adult in the club that they have a duty of care to safeguard the welfare of children and young people to protect them from inappropriate behaviour and to promote a culture of safety and FUN. 

To do this, a club Child Welfare Officer requires certain knowledge and skills - some of which are a pre-requisite for the role, and others that can be obtained through training and experience. The Club Welfare Officer should be the first point of contact for anyone who feels the need to raise concerns about poor practice and/or abuse. 

Roles and responsibilities of Club Welfare Officer

Work with others in the club to ensure a positive child centred environment

Assist the club to fulfil its responsibilities to safeguard all children in the club

Assist the club to implement its safeguarding children plan

Make themselves known to and be the first point of contact for staff, volunteers, parents, children and young people

Ensure all club members, volunteers, coaches, players and parents are aware of and adhere to the club code of conduct

Maintain contact details for Health and Social Care Trust, PSNI and any other relevant safeguarding body

Ensure all club volunteers who are responsible for supervising children have completed necessary vetting checks prior to taking up their role and update them within the specified timescale

Ensure all club volunteers have participated in the Irish FA’s Safeguarding Children and Young People training and participate in refresher training when required

Maintain accurate and up to date records of all club volunteers including coaching qualifications, vetting check outcome, safeguarding training dates and complaints

Sit on the clubs management committee

Ensure the Irish FA is provided with safeguarding compliance requests including but not limited to contact details of the Club Welfare Officer and alternative point of contact, preferably a Chairperson 

Skills/Qualities of CWO

Basic advice and support-provision skills

Good communication skills – verbal and written

Be approachable

Have a child-centred ethos

Trustworthy

Sensitive

Impartial and fair

Non-judgmental

Equitable

Discreet

Be organised and efficient

Maintain accurate and up to date records of any incidents/issues

Ability to handle and manage confidential material

IT literate

Knowledge

Awareness of the clubs legal and moral responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children and young people in the club

Awareness of the Irish FA’s policy and procedures for Safeguarding children and Young People in Football including procedures for vetting checks

Knowledge of the club’s policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people

Awareness of local statutory bodies responsible for safeguarding

Knowledge of reporting procedures for any safeguarding issues

Knowledge of what is poor practice and abuse – behaviour that is harmful to children

Core values and principles underpinning practice

Awareness of how adults groom/entrap children for abuse

Essential criteria  

  • Full attendance at the Irish FA Safeguarding Children and Young People in Football Course
  • Full attendance at Irish FA Safeguarding for Club Welfare Officer or Sport NI equivalent and
  • Satisfactory Access NI check.