In recent months, Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) has embarked to ensure all our member clubs’ Child Wellbeing and Protection Officers have completed the relevant courses and workshops. As part of this, we sat down with our very own Child Wellbeing & Protection Officer, Michelle Pasnik, to answer some key questions about being a CWPO:
What does being a Child Wellbeing & Protection Officer (CWPO) at a club involve?
“The main part of the role is to ensure the wellbeing and protection of children. That may seem pretty obvious, but it’s about having CWPO’s that put this at the heart of their work and the club.
“We know that those involved in football at various levels are passionate about the game. Sometimes, without any intention, this can go against the wellbeing and protection of a child or children. It’s the CWPO’s role to keep members of the club educated and informed should any situations arise.”
Why is this role important?
“We as an organisation see it as important because having a CWPO at each club means there is a point of contact should a situation occur. This then creates a link between SWF, the CWPO, and the members of the club.
“Having a CWPO at each club means that they’ll be aware of their members and the workings of that particular organisation. While individuals can also contact SWF directly, it also aims to create a clear line of communication to the CWPO where members can approach them.
“Overall though, it’s very much about making the wellbeing and protection of children an absolute priority for us an organisation, for our clubs, and our members.”
Who is this role for?
“There is no set criteria for the role as training and assistance is provided. However, we usually recommend this role for those that have some experience within the game and who have the ability to give up extra time with the club.”
Will this role take up lots of time?
“This is an important role and with that comes responsibilities. For example, I’ve recently been working on making sure current CWPO’s have completed the compulsory Managing Children’s Wellbeing course. This three hour workshop aims to increase CWPOs understanding and implementation of the national context of wellbeing, safeguarding and protecting children in a football environment.
“We certainly wouldn’t say lots of time. It’s simply important that individuals know the responsibilities that the role brings.”
Why are their compulsory courses?
“As mentioned previously, we don’t have any set criteria for individuals becoming CWPO’s. However, it’s important that CWPO’s are trained to a certain standard to they can effectively carry out their role.
“Each CWPO needs to complete a short online course and the Managing Children’s Wellbeing course. Failure to complete either of these courses could result in repercussions for the club as a whole.
Will I be provided with support should I wish to become a CWPO?
“Absolutely. These training courses are very informative and lots of CWPO’s have come away really positive about the experience.
“I’m also in post at SWF to support our members are required. If a CWPO had a question, issue, or concern, they’d be more than welcome to call or email me to discuss it. The best thing that any CWPO can do is to ask for our assistance when they feel it’s required and keep us informed.
Any CWPOs looking to book on to a workshop can find a course by clicking here.