All British Judo Association Clubs should strive to have a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) to ensure children’s welfare is prioritised at their club.
The CWO needs to be well supported by the club and have a formal role on the club’s management committee. It is the whole club’s responsibility to ensure children’s welfare and everyone has a role to play.
The CWO plays a key role in advising the committee on its approach and ensuring that this is monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Due to the nature of this role all CWO will have no relation to the Head Coach. In the interests of best practice, the CWO ideally should be a separate role from coaching.
What does the Club Welfare Officer do?
- Assist the club to fulfil its responsibilities to safeguard children and young people.
- Assist the club to implement its child protection plan.
- Be the first point of contact regarding concerns about children’s welfare, poor practice or child abuse.
- The CWO is responsible for following the British Judo Association’s policy and procedures especially in relation to safeguarding and in particular the reporting procedures.
- Maintaining appropriate records and assessing information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate.
- Initially discuss your concerns with the British Judo Association Lead Child Protection Officer
- Consult initially with a statutory child protection agency such as the local social services department or health board, or the NSPCC, to test out any doubts or uncertainty about the concerns as soon as possible, in agreement with the BJA Safeguarding Manager.
- Make a formal referral to a statutory child protection agency e.g. social services department or the police without delay. It is NOT the role of the club to decide whether a child has been abused or not. This is the task of the social services department and the police or NSPCC.
- Be the first point of contact with the National Lead Child Protection Officer.
- Maintain contact details for local Social Services, Police, and how to obtain the Area Child Protection Committee’s policy/procedures. Contact details for local/nation help lines should also be maintained and publicised within the club.
- Promote the clubs best practice guidance/code of conduct within the club in line with the club’s plans. This may involve working with children/young people and parents on developing the club’s approach to the best behaviour of everyone at the club.
- Promote and ensure adherence to the club’s child protection training plan.
- The CWO will need to ensure that everyone is aware of what training is available and work with the club management committee to ensure that training requirements are met.
- Ensure confidentiality is maintained alongside the club’s management committee.
- Promote anti-discriminatory practice. The club must ensure that it has made clear its commitment to anti-discriminatory practice in its policy, procedures and plans for safeguarding children and young people’s welfare. The club should also have an Equity policy.
Who is best suited to be a Club Welfare Officer?
Club Welfare Officer roles are suited to those people who want to volunteer on a regular basis.
They are ideal for existing club members, parents who want to get more involved with a few spare hours each week as well as people who already work in social services or the police.
What skills are required to be a Club Welfare Officer?
A CWO requires a certain level of observation, self-awareness and critical thinking. They also need to be patient with good communication skills and able to adapt to a range of varied age groups.
Why should you get involved?
Ensuring the safety of children and vulnerable members of a judo club is very rewarding. People interested in becoming CWO should also get involved if you want to:
- Make a positive difference in the community
- Ensure safeguarding policies and guidelines are followed
How can I get involved?
In order to become a CWO you will need to complete the following:
- Safeguarding and Protection of Child (SPC) course
- Time to Listen (TTL) course
- Complete a Club Welfare Officer Registration Form
- Disclosure and Barring service (DBS) check
- Read the Access to Data agreement
Please be advised the SPC, TTL and DBS are valid for three years. It is the CWO’s duty to keep the requirements up to date failing to do so will invalidate their CWO status.
Once you have completed all of the above you will be sent a Membership Application. As a CWO you will be entitled to a free of charge one year recreational license or £20.00 off a full British Judo Association membership if you would like to go through the grading system.