New Structure to support Safeguarding in England
BF & EF agrees new structure to improve safeguarding support in fencing in England.
The new structure sees the responsibility for managing the delivery of safeguarding services in the Regions move from Regional Committees to British Fencing.
Safeguarding in England will be split into five areas (NW, NE, Midlands, SE and SW) each with their own Area Safeguarding Officer (ASO). Each ASO will take responsibility for 2 or 3 regions and will be supported by at least one Deputy Area Safeguarding Officer (DASO). All these roles are voluntary and report into the BF Lead Safeguarding Officer.
Where a Region has an existing qualified, active Regional Welfare Officers BF will be looking to support them to continue in their role with that Region, either as an ASO or DASO.
A new BF Safeguarding Work Group , reporting into the BF Executive, will be created consisting of:
- BF Lead Safeguarding Officer (Chair of the Work Group)
- 5 England Area Safeguarding Officers (ASO)
- 5 England Deputy Area Safeguarding Officers (DASO)
- Home Nation Lead Safeguarding Officers (Scotland, Wales, NI)
The terms of reference of the group (to be reviewed and expanded by members) includes responsibility for:
- Reviewing and proposing changes to all BF Safeguarding Policy (for subsequent Board(s) approval
- Reviewing Welfare training and support needs for the fencing community
- Monitoring Safeguarding in fencing across the UK (#cases, #clubs with fully trained welfare officers etc)
- Sharing relevant information and best practice
- Promoting safeguarding in relevant areas
The identified benefits of a centrally supported BF Safeguarding Work Group include:
- Better case management – Case management will be consolidated onto a single BF platform accessible which will provide more joined up safeguarding, oversight and consistent application of threshold decisions.
- Better reporting (from the system) which will allow Regions, EF and BF to better understand the safeguarding issues being faced in their area and across the sport
- Consistent procedures for communicating and storing and protecting data to ensure that Data Protection requirements are met.
- Better coverage – not all Regions had an active regional welfare officer attending their meetings or were receiving regular reports which impacts their ability to make regional decisions in relation to safeguarding.
- Improved Cover/Succession planning – working in pairs to support Regions will allow for workloads to be balanced and for new ASOs/DASOs to be supported and trained.
- Insurance – the decision to bring welfare officers acting at regional level under a formalised BF structure means that they are insured directly through BF for their activities.
A description of the roles of ASOs and DASOs will follow this announcement along with details of the recruitment process.