Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) has gone through a period of change in recent months with three new members of staff, including the appointment of Michelle Pasnik as the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer. These appointments were made to allow SWF to meet the increased demands of a growing game and to ensure the organisation is able to drive the club game forward.
One of the key areas of Michelle’s work is to ensure that SWF are working together with the Scottish FA to implement positive and consistent practices in relation to Child Wellbeing and Protection in accordance with the Scottish FA directive.
Speaking about her work, Michelle said, “I am delighted to have joined Scottish Women’s Football and I’m loving the job so far. Getting to grips with the directive and supporting the teams, clubs, and SWF members to help raise awareness of the expectations required of them has been really rewarding.
“A big part of my role has been ensuring all clubs are compliant with new practices. This involves making sure that all SWF clubs’ Child Wellbeing and Protection Officers (CWPOs) have completed the compulsory Managing Children’s Wellbeing course. This three hour workshop aims to increase CWPOs understanding and implemntation of the national context of wellbeing, safeguarding and protecting children in a football environment. It also aims to increase awareness of the risks to children’s wellbeing and the procedures in place to help minimise these risks.
“From speaking to a number of members who have taken the course, they’ve come away with really valuable information. I also know some who were perhaps slightly nervous about the new practices but this course has given them confidence to move forward in the right direction.”
Interim Executive Officer, Lorna Cameron, reiterated Michelle’s points, saying, “As an organisation we’re moving in a really positive direction. Michelle has a wealth of experience in both playing and coaching within girls’ and women’s football alongside a working knowledge of Child Wellbeing and Protection. She’s a fantastic asset to the organisation and we’ve already seen our members benefiting from her experience and support.”
“It’s important that clubs utilise the support that we’re providing as an organisation. We’ve outlined quite clearly that failure to comply with new practices could incur sanctions which would result in the clubs not being eligible to affiliate with Scottish Women’s Football in 2019. We hope we won’t have to apply these sactions, which is why we’ve brought in these support systems to make sure all clubs are compliant and applying best practise for the safety of all our members.”
Michelle added, “As Lorna has said, I’m here to help SWF members. These new practices are really positive for everyone and we know our members will benefit. If there are any problems or questions, I’m available via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone, 0141 620 4583.
Any CWPOs looking to book on to a workshop can find a course by clicking here.
Look out for further articles on Child Wellbeing and Protection coming on our website soon.