The role of the Club Welfare Officer (CWO) involves:
- advising the Club Management Committee on how to implement strong safeguarding procedures;
- receiving or hearing any concerns about a child’s welfare or an adult’s behaviour towards children;
- responsibility for checking that everyone who has significant access to children is suitable and has been vetted.
The person appointed should:
- be approachable and available to the junior members of the club and their parents;
- preferably have a degree of independence from club junior activities (for example, he or she should not be the junior co-ordinator or be actively coaching juniors);
- be able to brief the chairman of the club on any situations that require attention.
In golf, we’re lucky that many clubs employ a permanent Club Secretary/Manager, who often is responsible for these issues already. In the absence of an appropriate volunteer, it may be that safeguarding duties fall initially to the Secretary until a suitable person is hired.
Nominated Persons (England & Wales only)
It might be desirable to recruit additional members to assist the CWO. This could help spread the workload and ensures continuity in case of personnel changes, holidays or sickness.
Nominated Persons, one of whom may be the CWO, are ideally adults who are involved with the Junior Section. A Nominated Person is the first point of contact for anyone wanting advice on the club’s child protection policy and procedures. Such a person should have attended appropriate training and be subject to the normal vetting process.
If clubs have trouble encouraging adults to support the junior section in these roles, the Professional or Assistant Professional might be willing and suitable.