Child Protection

Children in Sport Code of Ethics

I attended the Irish Sports Council and FAI Awareness Workshop for Children in Sport. The child protection in sport awareness workshop is interactive and you will be prepared to get involved in the the 2.5 hr workshop.

It is the responsibility of all adults involved in football to actively promote best practice standards whilst being ever vigilant and aware of their responsibilities. Completing this workshop is part of your responsibility to the welfare and safety of children, which is paramount.

Children First Legislation was published on the 14th April.

The Bill provides for a number of key child protection measures, as follows:

  • A requirement on organisations providing services to children to keep children safe and to produce a Child Safeguarding Statement;
  • A requirement on defined categories of persons (mandated persons) to report child protection concerns over a defined threshold to the Child and Family Agency (the Agency);
  • A requirement on mandated persons to assist the Agency in the assessment of a child protection risk, if so requested to do so by the Agency;
  • Putting the Children First Interdepartmental Group on a statutory footing.

Provisions of the Bill will ensure that concerns about children will be brought to the attention of the Agency without delay and improve the quality of reports made to the Agency and the quality of follow up on concerns. The new legislation will operate in tandem with the existingChildren First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children [2011]. Obligations on organisations

Organisations providing services to children and young people will now be required to undertake an assessment of any risks to a child while the child is availing of its services, and use this as the basis for developing a Child Safeguarding Statement. The purpose of the Statement is to identify how the organisation will manage any risks identified in the risk assessment. The Safeguarding Statement will also outline how staff/volunteers will be provided with information to identify abuse which children may experience outside the organisation, and what they should do with any concerns about child safety.

Minister Fitzgerald said it will strengthen the approach to protecting children in Ireland. “This brings an absolute clarity to the requirement to report abuse, to intervene if you’re aware a child is being abused,” she said. “So this strengthens the approach to protecting children in this country in a very important way.”

Mandated Reporters

Mandated reporters are persons who, by virtue of their training, responsibilities and experience should have an awareness of issues relating to child protection. These professionals either work with children or young people or they are in service sectors that encounter adults or families and children where there is risk of abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters will be required to report information regarding child abuse above a defined threshold which comes to their attention in the course of their professional or employment duties. They will also be required to report any direct disclosures of abuse from a child. 

“Our Goal is that children’s soccer is a safe & fun for all participants and conducted in the spirit of fair play” FAI


The FAI had up until recently 1 tutor responsible for child protection, now they have over 24, such is the seriousness of this bill. Any person working with children (This means everyone at the club) will be required to get Garda vetted and attend this workshop. The Chairman of the club is ultimately responsible for child welfare at the club not the child welfare officer as you might imagine.

I would suggest anyone involved with youth football to read Rule 71 and Rule 72 of the FAI > FINAL-Rule-Book and it’s best you do this course ASAP.

It was great to sit down with coaches and discuss some of the issues concerning the kids game at present. We all know that we could certainly be doing a lot more, to make the game a more enjoyable experience for the kids that play it.

You will also find some more information on The Irish Sports Council Website > The Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland 

For more information and a list of FAI courses > Child Protection Course


I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend.

Thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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