Welfare Officers.

The role of a Club Welfare Officer

If you’re a club who has young people under the age of 18, it’s your responsibility to make sure those people are in a safe and welcoming environment. Appointing a Club Welfare Officer is a really good way of doing this as it means there is a dedicated individual who the young people, coaches and parents can go to.  

It not only helps protect young people against abuse of any kind, but aids in educating coaches, volunteers and committee members on good practice, processes & procedures, what to do if they have any concerns about a young person’s safety and helps embed good practice within the club.

Club Welfare Officer's don't have to be safeguarding experts, they just need to be someone who is passionate about protecting children and ensure that club's adhere to Basketball England's policies. The specific roles and responsibilities of a welfare officer can be found in our Club Welfare Officer guidance document

They also need to be someone who can assist Basketball England's in any investigation/concern that is raised against the club, this involves:

  • Being a point of contact between the club and NGB for when concerns are raised against the club
  • Being able to collate evidence/information regarding concerns
  • Being able to collect statements/witness accounts of any concern
  • Being able to compile any evidence in a suitable manner that can be submitted to Basketball England

A great way to support your position as Club Welfare Officer is to display this poster at games and training to get the message out and get people taking action to keep young people safe in basketball.  The aim of the poster is to provide information to all young people about who to contact if they have any concerns over their safety. 

For existing welfare officers, if you want to report a concern or speak with someone at Basketball England, you can do so through these links. 

Appointing a Club Welfare Officer

If you’re a club looking to appoint a welfare officer, or an individual at a club who is considering if the role is for them, it’s important to know what is expected. The person should be approachable, be comfortable talking to young people and hold a clear, valid, enhanced DBS check. Don’t worry, we’re not expecting a child protection expert, as there are specific authorities which are there for this, but if you’re passionate about making sure every child is in a safe environment within your club this may be the role for you.

The roles & responsibilities can be found here for a Club Welfare Officer

If an individual has been chosen, the club will need to provide support and the officer should be put on some training.

We recommend the following training

You can also get support from your local County Sports Partnership and the NSPCC has lots of information which can support you in your role in safeguarding children at your club. You may always want to familiarise yourselves with our FAQs, Parental Guidance and Advice for Children pages. 

Once you have appointed your Club Welfare Officer, let us know! Contact the Safeguarding team and inform them who your Club Welfare Officer is to ensure we are contacting the correct person. 

Did you know? Club Welfare Officers can be set up as Basketball England Verifier for verifying DBS checks. Click here for more information!

What information should a Club Welfare Officer know?

Each Club Welfare Officer should hold information on their local points for contact with regards to safeguarding concerns and training. Below are good places to look for more information around safeguarding.

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs)

To help ensure that young people are properly protected, Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) have been put in place as another organisation to raise a concern with.  Membership includes local authorities, health bodies and the police. If you’re interested in getting further qualifications in child protection, your LSCB is a good place to start and all clubs should have these contacts to hand.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADOs)

The role of the LADO is set out in the HM Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children. LADOs are involved in the management and oversight of individual cases where it is alleged that a person working with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child:
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children

The LADO role applies to paid workers, unpaid workers, volunteers, foster carers, casual workers, agency or anyone self employed. The procedures for managing allegations includes concerns, allegations or offences that may arise in someone’s personal life as well as at work.

County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) 

Regardless of how much the responsibilities of CSPs include activity delivery for young people, one of their crucial roles is to act as a ‘hub’ in promoting safeguarding, and providing information, guidance and signposting to partners across their areas. Each CSP will have a designated safeguarding lead to deal with safeguarding concerns, to find your local CSP you can use the CSP Network's website to find your CSP.

Children's Services - Local Authorities 

The Local Authority in the area where the child lives is responsible for making provision for the child, so long as it is necessary. The Children Act 1989 places a duty on Local Authorities to take reasonable steps to identify a child in need. Once a referral has been made to the Local Authority, they will decide within one working day whether or not to take action. The local authority can provide a range of services for children in need. These can include:-

  • after-school and holiday care or activities for school age children
  • advice, guidance and counselling
  • occupational, social, cultural or recreational activities
  • home helps
  • assistance with travelling to and from home in order to use any services provided by the local authority
  • assistance for the child and family to have a holiday
  • family centres
  • financial assistance
  • respite care

The Citizen's Advice Bearau provides further information on local authorities' children's services on their website.

If a child is in immediate danger or there is a serious threat towards a child please contact the police immediately on 999.