In October 2003 the England and Wales Cricket Board launched its new Child Welfare Policy - "Safe Hands - Welfare of Young People in Cricket including Vulnerable Adults." All ECB affiliated clubs and Leagues are required to adopt a policy in which all coaches, umpires, captains and scorers, and any other persons who have regular contact with young people under the age of 18 and vulnerable adults must have a satisfactory CRB check.
The ECB made it clear that all clubs must appoint a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) who must attend a Safeguarding Childen course followed by a second course entitledTime to Listen. Subsequently, the ECB launched a it's "Policy for Safeguarding Children." Attendence by CWOs on a Safe Hands course is now obligatory. Tutors for the Safeguarding Children seminar are available in most parts of Wales, and for the Safe Hands courses. It was considered desireable for Leagues to appoint CWOs as well where they could be considered to be responsible for ensuring that each club complies with the Child Welfare policy.
During the Autumn of 2011, several Safe Hands courses have been run across the whole of Wales, so that many CWOs have been able to refresh their qualifications in this important area.
ECB Safe Hands - Minimum Standards of Child Welfare (2012)
The following MUST hold a CRB Certificate:
- Club and League Welfare Officers
- Coaches (whether Paid, volunteer, assisting or leading).
- Colt/Junior Managers
- Age Group Managers
- Open Age Group Team Captains where u18's regularly play (most club Captains)
- Junior Supervisors
- First Aiders
This is not an exhaustive list and other roles should be considered if they are a regulated activity.
Club Welfare Officers at each club should follow the diagram shown below which they will be familiar with from the Safe Hands Training/Documentation.
When considering if an individual requires a CRB, if IN ANY DOUBT ensure a CRB is applied for. Cricket Wales will support every valid application.
CRB's obtained from other employment/sport etc do not count and are invalid for Cricket Welfare purposes, until the rules change centrally we must comply with this directive.
Child Welfare - Positional Statement as at September 2011.
Cricket Wales has now brought together Child Welfare Officers (CWO’s) for clubs and leagues across Wales. Whilst each individual is bound by NSPCC/Safe Hands and other guidelines; there is no current structure for the management/regulation and supervision of Child Welfare across this new group. This provides an area of weakness and makes Cricket Wales vulnerable in this high risk arena.
The current system relies upon individual CWO’s at club and league level to be personally responsible for their own areas of responsibility. Whilst it is recognised that there are individuals of a very high calibre carrying out these roles within Welsh Cricket, it must also be recognised that there are individuals who are not of a suitable standard. The current system does not have a structure in place for the monitoring of policies or procedures to ensure compliance with legislation/guidelines etc.
A unified and co-ordinated approach is required to ensure consistency across Wales.
Brian CROCKETT has been an outstanding lead for many years in this important area, although his recent indisposition has led to some slippage.
Importantly, there is currently no visible database of who is trained and when they were trained (First Aid/Safe Hands/Coaching/Safeguarding). Whilst the ECB CBMS system provides some detail, its use is limited to a select few. As a parent for example, how could I establish if my child’s coach is appropriately qualified, First Aid trained or CRB compliant and so on? We aim for greater transparency.
Ieuan WATKINS has now been appointed as the Director of Child Welfare for Cricket Wales. He is an experienced Police Detective with a long history of criminal investigation and team management, with particular skills in Child Protection.
Working with him will be Gail HUGHES from Colwyn Bay Cricket Club to work in the North. Gail works in an Educational Social Work Team, is an ECB Level 1 Cricket Coach and a Child Welfare Officer at Colwyn Bay Cricket Club.
Brian CROCKETT, who has worked in this area for several years, will undertake responsibility for the South region.
Administration support will be provided by Cricket Wales at The Swalec.
Proposed New Structure
In order to streamline the processes and to ensure overview/regulation and compliance with procedures, it is felt that a hierarchical management system will provide the structure and organisation needed to ensure effective communication and ownership.
The following “Child Welfare Team” is proposed as the best way forward.
Director of Cricket
Director of Child Welfare
Gail Hughes Brian Crockett
League CWOs * Regional CWOs
Child Welfare Team – Responsibilities
To encompass overview/regulation/compliance/management in the following areas;
1) CRB checks
2) League Welfare Officers
3) Regional Junior Welfare Officers
4) Club Welfare Officers
5) Manage Child Welfare allegations/investigations
6) Qualified Coaches Network (via CDO’s)
7) Social Networking/Internet Policy
8) Clubmark Child Welfare Standards
9) Internet available list of trained individuals in Child Welfare field.
To provide the following training and ensure those in relevant posts are compliant:
1) Safe Hands Course
2) Safeguarding Courses
3) First Aid Courses