FAI Statement on Child Welfare issues

Friday, 25 November 2016

FAI Statement on Child Welfare issues

Following allegations of child abuse in football in the United Kingdom, the Football Association of Ireland would like to advise on the numerous avenues of support currently in place.

In accordance with the FAI Child Welfare Policy, members of the FAI who are advised, suspect or are concerned that a child may be at risk of abuse are obliged to report these concerns to TUSLA (www.tusla.ie<http://www.tusla.ie>) and the relevant Designated Child Officer of their Affiliated Member body.

In the event of an emergency where a child is believed to be in immediate danger, the Statutory Authorities should be alerted as a matter of urgency. This may be done through any Garda station. All child abuse investigations will be dealt with by the Statutory Authorities, with the support of the FAI.

The FAI has been in contact with Barnardo’s (www.barnados.ie<http://www.barnados.ie>) and One-In-Four (www.oneinfour.ie<http://www.oneinfour.ie>), and both agencies are available to work with the Association.

The FAI has previously informed all member clubs, leagues and stakeholders of the requirement to comply with the statutory regulations laid out in National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 to ensure all adults working with children have received Garda vetting.

Earlier this year, the FAI wrote to each of its affiliates to remind them that organisations had been advised that Garda vetting will be a legal requirement fromApril 29, 2016.

Garda vetting has been an FAI Rule for all those working with children and or vulnerable persons (in a paid or voluntary capacity) for a number of years and this legislation placed existing FAI practices on a statutory footing.

The FAI Child Welfare Department continues to engage with all stakeholders to ensure they are kept up to date with statutory safeguarding requirements on an ongoing basis and works with An Garda Siochana to process vetting applications comprehensively in an appropriate time frame.

For any adult who has experienced abuse in childhood, the HSE National Counselling Service for adults provides counselling and support, free of charge. A list of National counselling service branches can be found here<http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/Mental_Health_Services/National_Counselling_Service/nationalcounsellingservicebranches.pdf>

In addition, the FAI has been in contact with its counterparts in the English Football Association (The FA) and the Irish Football Association. The FA has commissioned a dedicated NSPCC helpline for adults who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood within the football industry. The helpline will be available 24 hours a day on 0044 800 023 2642.

The FAI remains committed to ensuring that all children can participate in all football activities in a safe and secure environment.

The FAI Child Welfare Department can be contacted for further information onchildwelfare@fai.ie<mailto:childwelfare@fai.ie> while the FAI’s Child Welfare Policy can be viewed here<http://www.fai.ie/domestic/safeguarding/fai-child-welfare-policy>

Football Association of Ireland



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