Creating a safe and welcoming environment where everyone is respected and valued is the aim of an organisation's safeguarding philosophy.
Safeguarding is about making sure that any organisation is run in a way that actively:
- promotes the rights of, and acts in the best interests of, children and other vulnerable people in contact with the organisation;
- implements a range of practices that work together to prevent harm which could result from maltreatment, abuse, harassment, bullying and neglect towards vulnerable participants; and
- responds safely and effectively if there is any genuine concern about a vulnerable person or the behaviour of someone towards them.
Everyone in the organisation, and those in contact with the organisation, have a role to play in safeguarding, including all staff, participants, supporters and families. It should become part of every-day considerations and be a strategic priority for leadership, management, and an operational priority for managers and the operational workforce.
There are many reasons why organisations should develop effective safeguarding practice, here are some:
- where participants feel safe, happy, respected and supported, they will grow and develop and be helped in achieving their potential;
- an organisation that does safeguarding well is an organisation that is trusted;
- children and other vulnerable people are afforded protection through both international conventions and national and state law - thus organisations MUST safeguard;
- the football authorities led by FIFA and the regional federations (such as UEFA), expect that every football organisation - national federations and clubs - make safeguarding a clear priority;
- abuse, harassment, neglect and other forms of maltreatment can pose a risk of harm to anyone – participants, the people we work with, or volunteers - its not always visible and often not spoken about; and
- abuse, harassment and neglect are wrong - we all have a duty to listen, take seriously and to report it to someone who can take appropriate action.
The term “safeguarding” may not be used in some territories; it may also be known as Protection of Minors, Child or Adult Protection, Child-Safe, Risk Management or other.
The CFG policy recognises the need to promote and protect the rights of adult participants who may have additional vulnerability to abuse. As such it also requires our workforce to also protect adult participants who may be at risk of harm whilst under our care possibly as a result of additional vulnerability such as disability, mental health issues or other care, welfare or well-being needs.
Child (or Children): refers to any individual under the age of 18.
Other Vulnerable People: this refers to adults who have care and support needs as a result of additional vulnerability, including, but not limited to disability, intellectual vulnerability, mental health conditions, homelessness and drug addiction, and as such may be in receipt of state care and require additional support to participate in Club activity; different countries may use different terms in legal and regulatory settings, such as the UK who may use the term Vulnerable Adult, or more frequently now, Adult at Risk. This may also mean an adult who because of their situation (e.g. an accident, injury or excess alcohol use) becomes vulnerable whilst in or under our care. CFG recognises that the legal position in respect of adults is complex, varies country to country, and any Safeguarding intervention may require the consent of the individual prior to any action being taken.