All coaches and volunteers are encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect children in their care and themselves from false allegations.
The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate within your Football Development Centre or your Youth Team.
As a coach/volunteer within this centre I agree to the following charter:
I will respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and treat everyone equally within the club.
I will develop an appropriate working relationship with children based on mutual trust and respect. I will not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or award.
I will hold up to date and nationally recognized IFA coaching qualifications and hold appropriate insurance cover.
I will always promote the positive aspects of football (e.g. fair play) and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited substances.
I will be an excellent role model – this includes not smoking, drinking alcohol, using foul language or taking drugs in the company of young people.
I will always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment, e.g. no secrets).
I will always put the welfare of each child/young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
I will maintain a safe and appropriate distance with players (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child).
I will make football, enjoyable and promote fair play.
I will ensure that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it is provided openly and according to agreed guidelines. If physical support is needed, I will talk aloud to the child/young person explaining what I am doing and why as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when a child is constantly moving. I agree that children/young people should always be consulted before they are touched and their agreement gained. Parental/guardian views about manual support will always be carefully considered.
I will involve parents/guardians wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children in the changing rooms). If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms always ensure parents/coaches/volunteers work in pairs.
I will give enthusiastic and constructive feedback, encouraging achievements rather than negative criticism.
I will encourage the developmental needs and capacity of children/young people, including those with disability – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
I will keep a written record or inform the co-ordinator of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
Bullying is not an accepted behaviour towards anyone whether child, coach, volunteer or parent. Anyone found to be bullying others will be dealt with seriously, both in relation to the behaviour exhibited and the reasons for the behaviour.
Practices I will avoid:
Avoid spending any time alone with children/young people away from others.
The following will never be sanctioned. I will never:
Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
Share a changing room, bath or shower with a child/young person.
Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
Allow children/young people to use foul, sexualized or discriminatory language unchallenged.
Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, young person, even in fun.
Reduce a child/young person to tears as a form of control.
Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
Undertake personal care for children/young people.
Invite or allow children to stay with me at my home.
I understand any misdemeanours or breach of this code will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally to the designated person.
Persistent breach of the code will result in dismissal from the centre.
Dismissals can be appealed by the coach/volunteer with final decisions taken by the club committee/IFA.