Since 19th January 2017 the Hertfordshire FA have been carrying out safeguarding validation visits to ensure that clubs are meeting their commitment to safeguarding.
It is an opportunity for Hertfordshire FA to meet and engage with coaches and parents to make sure they are fully aware of safeguarding in football. As part of the visit coaches, parents and officials are asked some simple questions to ensure that everyone understands The FA processes for safeguarding in football.
In a recent visit to Garston Ladies it was clear that everyone involved fully understands these processes.
County Welfare Officer Richard Drake who conducted the visit stated:
"In all our other validation visits it was clear that all of the parents and some of the coaches did not understand some of the processes. This is possibly down to a communication issue within clubs."
At Garston Ladies every coach and parent gave a correct answer to the questions and in many cases beyond what was expected. Further discussion revealed that the club had sent out a communication, two weeks previously, around what the club and The FA do with regards safeguarding.
Rich Bennett of Garston Ladies commented:
"As a club, we felt the best response we could take to the news stories in the media around non recent child abuse allegations was to ensure that there was an open and frank dialogue between the club and our parents and carers.
An all-club email was sent to confirm our commitment to the FA Safeguarding procedures but also as a reminder that we all have a part to play when it comes to safeguarding."
The four main things the club did:
Richard Drake added:
"Whilst safeguarding training is very important amongst our volunteer workforce, communicating the safeguarding message to our parents and players is equally important, as they need to know where to get help should an issue arise."
Richard Drake recognises previous Hertfordshire FA Volunteer of the Year, Steve Kelly, of Evergreen FC and Aspire Power Chair Sports Club at Vicarage Road.
For further information about safeguarding contact Richard Drake on 01462 650215 firstname.lastname@example.org or view our safeguarding page