Child welfare is our number one priority at New Buckenham Junior Football Club.
If you, or your child, has any concerns at all that they wish to discuss we would encourage them to speak to the player's team's coach or our Child Welfare Officer Karen Hobley.
Our full Complaints Procedure is outlined below.
Karen is hugely experienced in child welfare matters and has written a open Letter to Parents and Carers in which she outlines her qualifications and details of the code of conduct that we follow.
Karen Hobley's contact details are outlined below.
In the event that any youth member, parent/carer, club or FA official or coach feels that he or she has suffered discrimination, experienced or witnessed something of concern or that the club’s policies, rules or Code of Conduct have been broken, the following actions should be taken:-
For issues that are straightforward and easily resolved, requiring little or no investigation, a private word to the team coach or other club official might remedy the issue or concern that has arisen. This is not to undervalue minor concerns - in some instances a remedy can be decided upon quickly and to the satisfaction of all (an apology, explanation or other action).
For example, it may be some aspect of club policy has not been fully understood by a parent, or incorrectly applied by a coach, or the club policy itself is unclear or contradictory. A private word with the ‘frontline’ person (e.g. coach) might be the obvious and simplest approach to take. The club would expect the issue to be resolved within one week and the coach or club official is required to report the concern and resolution offered to the Club Welfare Officer or the Chairman so that this can be agreed and recorded in the club minutes.
More Serious Concerns
There is always the potential for more serious concerns to arise that require a more significant intervention. In these instances, a more formal process is required so that the club can both record and address the issue or concern. Where a serious concern arises, they should initially report the matter to the Club Welfare Officer or to the Chair, if the complaint is about the Club Welfare Officer. Once reported, the Club Welfare Officer / the Chair are responsible for the investigation of the major concern and for applying the following guiding principles:
The complainant should be asked to make their complaint in writing and include details of how they can be contacted so the club can keep them informed of the progress of their complaint;
The club will remain in contact with the complainant and deal with the complaint constructively;
The complainant will receive timely confirmation by phone or email that the club has received and is dealing with their complaint and that this should not be more than 5 working days from receiving the complaint;
The club will investigate the complaint and respond to the complaint within 20 working days of receipt (either with a proposed resolution, or details of further actions to be taken);
The club will investigate the complaint by looking at what might have gone wrong and/or what needs to be done to rectify the cause of the complaint. The club will also assess whether someone has suffered any injustice, and what remedy would be fair and proportionate in the circumstances;
The club will consider whether to consult or inform The FA in relation to any breach of FA rules or guidelines;
Where the complaint indicates a law may have been broken, the club will inform the relevant statutory authority;
Complaints that have a general significance across the club might necessitate wider consultation, (e.g. selection process for matches) which might have implications for the interests of parents, youth members and coaches but from different perspectives, and therefore involve wider consultation and perhaps even discussion by the full committee;
Sensitive complaints may need to be dealt with confidentially (e.g. those which involve a Safeguarding context)
Learning from something that has gone, or is going wrong, and putting right mistakes, is paramount. Seeking to hide mistakes is counter to the wider interests of the club, its` youth members and volunteers and, therefore, any investigation should be open, fair and respectful to all concerned.
A Letter To Parents and Carers
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to introduce myself to you – my name is Karen Hobley and I am the Club Welfare Officer (CWO) for New Buckenham Junior Football Club. In order to retain its` Charter Status, the Club has to have a fully qualified CWO – I have F.A. training in Child Protection and Safeguarding and Norfolk County Council training in Child Protection and Child Sexual Exploitation.
My role in the Club is to ensure that all managers / coaches have current DBS Checks and that training records are up-to-date. I am sometimes called upon to investigate complaints and am always available if you wish to discuss anything relating to your child and their part in the Club.
Although I am not a regular member of the Committee, I do sometimes attend meetings and always leave in awe of the amount of work put in by everyone on behalf of the Club. Our shared goal is to ensure that you child enjoys their football, flourishes and is encouraged to be the best they can be, and we value the support which you give to the Club.
We follow the F.A. Respect programme, which describes children`s football as “a time for them to develop their technical, physical, tactical and social skills.” It is also a time when they learn to play together and work as a team and a time which, quite often, gives them the opportunity to make lifelong friends.
I ensure that all coaches and club officials adhere to The FA`s Respect Code of Conduct and I would ask that everyone takes careful note of The FA’s Respect Code of Conduct for spectators and parents/carers at all times:-
• Remember that children play for FUN
• Applaud effort and good play as well as success
• Always respect the match officials’ decisions
• Remain outside the field of play and within the Designated Spectators’ Area (where provided)
• Let the coaches do their job and don`t confuse the players by telling them what to do
• Encourage the players to respect the opposition, referee and match officials
• Avoid criticising a player for making a mistake – mistakes are part of learning
• Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting, or abusive language or behaviour.
Thank you again for your support for the club and best wishes for future matches. Please feel free to contact me, using any of the details at the top of this letter, if you require any advice, support or further information.
Karen Hobley – Club Welfare Officer