Walthamstow Wolves FC

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Walthamstow Wolves FC Child Protection Policy

Walthamstow Wolves FC

Child Protection Policy and Procedures



1. Introduction

2. Child Protection Policy Statement

3. Good Practice in the Care of Children

4. What is Child Abuse?

5. Possible Indications of Abuse

6. What to do if Abuse is Suspected or Alleged

7. Allegations against Staff or Volunteers

8. Contacts and Useful numbers


1. What to do if you are concerned about abuse by a parent or carer?

2. What to do if you are concerned about abuse by a coach or volunteer?

1. Introduction

Walthamstow Wolves Football Club is committed to promoting sport as a means of engaging, encouraging and stimulating children and young people in order to help them gain better employment, education and health opportunities and to promote a sense of purpose and belonging.

Child Protection Policy Statement

We believe that all children and young people have the right to enjoy sport without the threat of harassment or abuse. All those involved with Walthamstow Wolves Football Club have a moral and legal responsibility to seek to protect the children and young people we work with from abuse, regardless of age, culture, gender, disability, language, racial origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or identity.

Key Principles

Walthamstow Wolves Football Club policy and procedures are based on the following principles:-

  • The welfare of the child or young person is the prime concern;

  • All young people whatever their age, culture, disability; gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or identity have the right to protection from abuse;

  • Although it is the responsibility of child protection experts to determine whether abuse has taken place, it is everyone's responsibility to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and report any concerns.

  • All incidents where poor practice is suspected or where allegations are made should be taken seriously an responded to swiftly and appropriately;

  • Appropriate confidentiality should be maintained in line with relevant legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

2. Child Protection Policy Statement

Walthamstow Wolves Football Club believes that all children have the right to enjoy sport without any form of harassment or abuse.

All those involved with Walthamstow Wolves Football Club have a moral and legal responsibility to protect all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial origin and sexual orientation or identity from abuse.

All Walthamstow Wolves Football Club staff should be aware of all forms of abuse, good practice and also what to do if abuse is suspected to ensure that the welfare of children in their care is safeguarded.

This policy statement sets out the policy Walthamstow Wolves Football Club and is based on the following principles:

  • The welfare of young people (the Children's Act 1989 defines a young person as under 18 years of age) and disabled adults is the prime concern.

  • All young people, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.

  • It is the responsibility of the child protection experts to determine whether or not abuse has taken place but it is everyone's responsibilities to report any concern:

  • All incidents of suspicious poor practice and allegations should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

  • Confidentiality should be upheld in line with the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Human Rights Act 2000.

3. Good Practice in the Care or Children

People working with children and young people are responsible for ensuring that good practice is promoted at all times. This will ensure that situations for the abuse of children/young people are reduced or prevented whilst at the same time helping to protect Walthamstow Wolves Football Club staff and volunteers from behaviour, which might be deemed unacceptable and possible false accusations.

The following are positive examples of good practice:

  • Always be publicly open when working with children and young people. Avoid situations where a Walthamstow Wolves Football Club staff member/volunteer and an individual child or young person is completely unobserved.

  • If any form of manual support is required, it should be provided openly. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand position when a child or young person is constantly moving.

  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with performers (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child or share a room with them).

  • Ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, a male and female member of staff should always accompany them.

  • Being an excellent role model -this includes not drinking or smoking in the company of young people.

Certain practices should never be allowed:

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.

  • Share a room with a child.

  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.

  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged- .Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.

  • Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.

  • Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.

  • Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, which they can do for themselves.

  • Invite or allow children to stay at your home unsupervised.

4. What is Child Abuse?

It is generally acknowledged that there are four main forms abuse:


Where an adult fails to meet a child's basic needs like food or warm clothing, fails or refuses to give children love, affection and attention. Neglect in a sports situation could include a teacher or coach not ensuring children were safe, exposing them to undue cold, heat or to unnecessary risk of injury.

Physical Abuse

Where someone physically hurts or injures a child by hitting, shaking, squeezing, burning, poisoning, throwing, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. In a sports situation physical abuse might occur when the intensity of training and competition exceeds the capacity of the child's immature and growing body.

Sexual Abuse

Where girls and boys are abused by adults or other children (male or female) who use children to meet their own sexual needs. This could include full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex and fondling or showing children pornographic material. In sport, coaching techniques that involve physical contact with children could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. The power of the coach over young performers, if misused, may also lead to abusive situations developing.

Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. This may involve causing children to feel frightened or in danger by constantly being shouted at or taunted which may make the child very nervous or withdrawn. Emotional abuse in sport may occur if children are subjected to constant criticism, name-calling, sarcasm, bullying, racism or unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectations.


Is a form of verbal abuse (e.g. taunting, racist or homophobic remarks, shouting and screaming at players in front of others, name calling), physical abuse (e.g. hitting, kicking, theft) or emotional abuse (e.g. ignoring or isolating an individual). It is a deliberate act and might be inflicted by:

  • A parent who pushes too hard

  • A coach or manager who has a win-at-all costs philosophy

  • One child or young person intimating another. The victim is often weaker and less powerful and the outcome is always painful and distressing.

5. Possible Indications of Abuse

Indications that a child may be being abused include the following:

  • Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly situated on a part of the body not usually prone to such injuries.

  • An injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent.

  • The child describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him/her.

  • Someone else (child or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of another child.

  • Unexplained changes in behaviour ( e.g. becoming very quiet withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper).

  • Inappropriate sexual awareness-

  • Engaging in sexually explicit behaviour.

  • Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally have been expected-

  • Has difficulty in making friends.

  • Is prevented from socialising with other children.

  • Displays variations in eating patterns including overeating or loss of appetite.

  • Loses weight for no apparent reason.

  • Becomes increasingly dirty or unkempt.

6. What to do if abuse is suspected or alleged

The person receiving information concerning allegations of abuse should:

React calmly so as not to frighten the child or young person.

Tell the child or young person he/she is not to blame and that he/she has the right to tell.

Take what the child or young person says seriously.

Keep questions to the absolute minimum to ensure a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said.

Reassure the child/young person but do not make promises of confidentiality, which may not subsequently be feasible.

Make a full record of what has been said, heard and/or seen as soon as possible.

It is not the responsibility of anyone working under the auspices of sport in a paid or unpaid capacity for Walthamstow Wolves Football Club, to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse is taking place. However, there is a responsibility to protect children and young people in order that the appropriate agencies can then make inquiries and take any necessary action to protect their best interests.

Social Services

Social Cervices have a statutory duty under The Children's Act 1989 to ensure the welfare of children. When a child protection referral is made its staff has a legal responsibility to investigate. This may involve talking to the child and family and gathering information from other people who know the child. Enquiries may be carried out jointly with the police.

Sharing Concerns with Parents

There is always a commitment to work in partnership with parents and carers where there are concerns about their children. Therefore, in most situations, it would be important to talk to parents or carers to help clarify any initial concerns. For example, if a child seems withdrawn, there may be a reasonable explanation.

When it is Not Appropriate to Share Concerns with Parents There are circumstances in which a child may be placed at even greater risk if such concerns were shared ( e.g. where a parent or carer may be responsible for the abuse or not able to respond to the situation appropriately). In these, or where concerns still exist, any suspicions, allegation or incident of abuse must be reported in the first instance to the designated person within Walthamstow Wolves Football Club soon as possible.

Designated Officer

It is the responsibility of the designated person (the designated person within Walthamstow Wolves Football Club) once an incident has been reported to inform the Social Services Department without delay. If the designated person is not available the person discovering or being informed of the abuse should immediately contact their line manager within Walthamstow Wolves Football Club who will then contact the appropriate agencies. The Social Services Department, together with the designated person, where appropriate, will then decide how and when parents or carers will be informed.

Any situation that you consider may require a child protection referral must in the first instance be discussed with the Designated Officer or appropriate line manager. The manager will decide if a referral should then be made to Social Services. Out of hours contact with senior Football Club staff should be made through the following mobile numbers: Dominic Silvani 07956 221053

Expert Advice

If the Designated Officer or the Programme manager are unavailable and you are not sure what to do, you can obtain advice by telephone from the local social services department or call the NSPCC 24-hour free phone Helpline on 0808 800 500. The police also have specially trained child protection teams who will give guidance and support, and deal with out-of-office enquiries when social services are not available.

Records and Information

Information that will be passed onto social services or the police must be as helpful as possible, hence the necessity for making a detailed record at the time of the disclosure/concern.

Information should include the following: .The nature of the allegation.

  • A description of any viable bruising or other injuries-
  • The child's account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising (1lr other injuries occurred.
  • Witnesses to the incident(s).
  • Any times, dates or other relevant information.
  • A clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.

This report should be forwarded to the designated person within Walthamstow Wolves Football Club without delay.

8. Allegations against Walthamstow Wolves Football Club Staff or Volunteers

This includes anyone working with children in a paid or voluntary capacity, for example in clubs, club helpers, coaches etc.

Child abuse can and does occur outside the family setting. Although it is a sensitive and difficult issue, child abuse has occurred within institutions and may occur within other settings (e.g. sport or other social activities). Recent inquiries indicate that abuse that takes place within a public setting is rarely a one-off event. It is crucial that those involved in sport are aware of this possibility and that all allegations are taken seriously and appropriate action taken.

The designated person may be informed of situations where you are unsure about whether the allegation constitutes abuse or not, and are therefore unclear about what action to take. There may be circumstances where allegations are about poor practice rather than abuse, but those responsible should always consult with the designated officer who may then gain advice from social services or the NSPCC if there is any doubt. This is because it may be just one of a series of other instances which together cause concern.

If the allegation is to be made against the designated person within Walthamstow Wolves Football Club then you should in the first instance consult with your immediate line manager.

Support for the Reporter of Suspected Abuse

It is acknowledged that feelings generated by the discovery that a member of staff or volunteer is, or may be, abusing a child, will raise concerns among other staff or volunteers. This includes the difficulties inherent in reporting such matters.

Walthamstow Wolves Football Club assures all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone who, in good faith (without malicious intent), reports his or her concerns about a colleague's practice or the possibility that a child may be being abused.

Action if there are Concerns

  • If, following consideration, the allegation about poor practice, the designated person will deal with it as a misconduct issue.

  • If the allegation is about poor practice by the designated person, or the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be referred to the Chairman of Walthamstow Wolves Football Club or the Local Authority Child Protection Officer (LACPO).

  • If the incident of poor practice is suspicious, all details should be recorded and reported to the designated person.

Suspected Abuse

  • Any suspicion that a child or young person has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the designated person, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of that child or young person.

  • The designated person will refer the allegation to the social services department wh,o may involve the police, or go directly to the police if out-of-hours.

  • The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.

  • The designated person should also contact the Chairman of Walthamstow Wolves Football Club and the Local Authority Child Protection Officer who together will decide who should deal with any media enquiries.

  • If the designated person is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report in the first instance must be made directly to your line manager who will then be responsible for taking the action outlined above.

Action by Walthamstow Wolves Football Club

  • Walthamstow Wolves Football Club will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.

  • Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries, Walthamstow Wolves Football Club must assess all individual cases under the appropriate misconduct/disciplinary procedure, to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled with other staff or volunteers. This may be a difficult decision, particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, Walthamstow Wolves Football Club must reach a decision based on the available information that could suggest, on a balance of probability; it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of children should always remain paramount.

  • Consideration should be given about what support may be appropriate to children, parents and members of staff and also to the alleged perpetrator of the abuse.

Allegations of Previous Abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event. Where such an allegation is made, Walthamstow Wolves Football Club should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police.

This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Children's Act 1999.

9. Contacts and Useful Numbers

  • Walthamstow Wolves FC Child Welfare Officer

Dominic Silvani

35 Shakespeare RD


E17 6AS

Tel: 07956 221053

Email: [email protected]

  • Waltham Forest Local Authority:
    The Children and Family’s First Response Service via Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, or the Police on 020 8556 8855, at any time

  • Social work emergencies outside office hours at weekends and on public holidays

Outside working hours and at weekends, call Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000.

An out of hours emergency duty social worker will be contacted who will call you back.

  • Website: http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/care/childrenandfamilies/childprotect.htm

  • Waltham Forest Police Stations
    Please find below a list of Station Addresses

The Email address is monitored during office hours only - Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm

Chingford Police Station - 0300 123 1212

King's Head Hill


London E4 7EA
Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 24 hours a day

Disabled access and facilities
Website: http://www.directenquiries.com/moreinfo.aspx?tab=Metropolitan+Police+Service&companyid=72092&level=4

Leyton Police Station - 0300 123 1212

215 Francis Road

London E10 6NJ
Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 07:00 - 03:00 daily
Disabled access and facilities Website: http://www.directenquiries.com/moreinfo.aspx?tab=Metropolitan+Police+Service&companyid=72093&level=4

Walthamstow Police Station - 0300 123 1212

360 Forest Road


London E17 5JQ
Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 0700 - 0300 daily

Disabled access and facilities
Website: http://www.directenquiries.com/moreinfo.aspx?tab=Metropolitan+Police+Service&companyid=72095&level=4

Waltham House - 0300 123 1212

Waltham House

11 Kirkdale Road

Leytonstone E11 1HP
Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 0700 - 1900 daily

Disabled access and facilities
Website: http://www.directenquiries.com/moreinfo.aspx?tab=Metropolitan+Police+Service&companyid=72094&level=4

Walthamstow Town Centre Police Office - 0300 123 1212

191-193 High Street


London E17 7BX
Email: [email protected]

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 1000 - 1800

Disabled access and facilities Website: http://www.directenquiries.com/moreinfo.aspx?tab=Metropolitan+Police+Service&companyid=72096&level=3

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000


  • London Football Association – 08707 743 010
  • Essex Football Association – 01245 465 271