Safeguarding & Child Welfare
Harrogate Town Football Club acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every child and young person who has 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 activity. We subscribe to The Football Associations child protection and best practise policy and procedures and endorse and adopt the policy statement contained in that document.
The key principles of the 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 or sexual 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 sport should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from poor practise and abuse.
Harrogate Town Football Club recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in the Club.
Harrogate Town 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 the child protection policy applies to everyone whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. This includes those who are a volunteer, match official, helper, coach, club official or medical staff.
We endorse and adopt child protection and best practise guidelines for recruiting volunteers and will
- Develop a role profile
- Request identification documents
- As a minimum meet all applicants and conduct interviews before appointing
- Request and follow up with references before appointing
All current Harrogate Town Football Club members with direct access to children and young people will be required to complete a CRB Enhanced Disclosure. If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of any individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of Harrogate Town Football Club guidance will be sought. It is noted and accepted that we will consider the relevance and significance of the information obtained from the CRB disclosure and that all decisions will be made in the best interests of children and young people.
It is accepted that we aim 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 practise with children or young people. This is to prevent direct sexual or physical harm to children and to minimise the risk of ‘grooming’ within sport.
Harrogate Town Football Club has Appointed Club Welfare Officers. The post holders are 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 also play a proactive role in increasing an awareness of poor practise and abuse amongst club members.
We acknowledge and endorse the 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 Club Welfare Officers, a member of the committee.
Codes of conduct for players, parents or spectators, officials and coaches have been implemented by Harrogate Town Football Club.
In order to validate these codes of conduct the Club has clear sanctions to deal with any misconduct at club level. All prospective members will be informed of these codes.
The development of our Youth and Juniors within the game relies on a safe, enjoyable and a positive experience while playing and training at Harrogate Town AFC.
Key elements of Child welfare
- Ensuring the wellbeing and creating a safe environment for all the Young Players within our Junior PDC / PDC and Youth Development
- Maintain our Anti Bullying Policy
- Ensuring all our Coaches are fully Certified in the correct time scales in CRB , Safe guarding and that they all hold first aid Certifications
- Ensuring the right recruitment process for Coaches is in place with the checking of references and Certifications to ensure we get the right personnel in place
- Ensuring we maintain our Respect policy for Players and Parents
Designated Safeguarding Officer - Richard Jones
West Riding County FA Welfare Officer - Paul Ratcliffe
Lost Children Policy
Here at Harrogate Town AFC we are handing out Lost Child Wristbands to all fans, home and away, for FREE on matchdays.
Parents or guardians are being invited to write parent/guardian name, seat number, and mobile phone contact details on a free wristband, which is available at the turnstiles. We will hand them out to parents who want them on matchdays. This is of immense help to Harrogate Town AFC staff and members of the public if they discover a child that has been separated from their parent(s)/guardian(s) on matchday.
If and when a child is unfortunate enough to become separated from the parent/guardian, HTAFC staff can simply ring and reunite them at HTAFC main office.
This should drastically reduce the time families are separated meaning less time worrying and more time enjoying watching the match at the EnviroVent Stadium.
In October 2020 we appointed our first Club Chaplain, Rob Brett.
Rob, who is mentored, trained and regulated by Sports Chaplaincy UK, is well qualified to provide pastoral care.
He is a Christian, but not ordained, and stresses he wants to offer a friendly face and a listening ear to everyone at the club whether of any religious faith or none.
Rob can be contacted at Robbrett@harrogatetownafc.com.