Safeguarding

Safeguarding Children is high on The FA's and the OFA's agenda. The goal is to have someone at every club in the country aware of safeguarding children and best practice, whether it's a professional club with an Academy or a Sunday morning youth side.Safeguarding is about doing things the right way, doing things properly. It's about allowing children to enjoy the game without abuse of any kind. That means bullying, physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect. The FA and the OFA believe football can have a powerful positive influence on children. But that means everyone involved in football must take on the responsibility of looking after those children that want to play the game.

Safeguarding is a more descriptive method of the work involving the safety of children and adults.The welfare, safety and security of all children and vulnerable adults involved in the game of football in Oxfordshire is a high priority of Oxfordshire FA.  We work closely with the FA to ensure that all the relevant Safeguarding Children policies and practices are being adopted by all our youth leagues and clubs throughout the county in order to protect the children effectively, as well as the interests of our clubs.  We wish to enhance the enjoyment of football in Oxfordshire in the safest possible environment.

Since the start of the 2008/09 season all Youth Clubs and Leagues have been required to have appointed a Club or League Welfare Officer.  This was just the beginning of our continued efforts to eradicate all forms of child abuse, whether it is through neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse or bullying in football. Equally, we strive to eliminate all aspects of poor practice in the work undertaken in our area.

We support clubs in developing strategies to ensure their players are able to be healthy, safe, enjoy and achieve from their participation, whilst making a positive contribution and developing economic well being.  Where there are concerns that these developments are at risk for any child involved in our clubs, we fully support the agencies that are available to deal with concerns when they arise, whether they be the Club or League Welfare Officers, the County Welfare Officers, the FA, NSPCC, Childrens' Services, the Local Childrens' Safeguarding Board, Police or other agencies.

We will continue to provide regular training opportunities for all those involved in working with children through the Safeguarding Children Workshops and for Club and League Welfare Officers, through the Welfare Officer Workshops that are arranged, followed by regular update meetings from time to time.

To facilitate this work we have made policies and guidelines available on this website in the Safeguarding Children section, so please do take time to explore the materials that are available there.

Welfare follows on from Safeguarding Children and covers areas such as anti-bullying. The Football Association continue to roll out training for both Club and League Welfare Officers with it becoming necessary for all clubs/leagues with youth teams to have a Welfare Officer in place

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