Friday morning has seen Newcastle United confirm that they have written to all parents and carers of Academy players aged under 23.
In an official statement the club say that the letters are to ‘provide support and reassurance following the recent reports of historic child sex abuse in the game’.
As part of the process of support, United are holding an open parents meeting at the Academy next week, to give ‘guidance, support and reassurance’.
Newcastle United Official Statement:
‘Newcastle United has today written to all parents and carers of its Academy players under the age of 23, to provide support and reassurance following the recent reports of historic child sex abuse in the game.
In the letter, the club has announced it will be holding an open parents meeting at the Academy next week which will provide information, guidance, support and reassurance regarding the current safeguarding policy and practices employed by the club. The session will be led by the club’s Head of Safeguarding, Welfare and Equality Steve Swinyard.
Speaking about the forthcoming meeting, Steve Swinyard said: “It is crucial that we provide every reassurance we can to the parents and carers of youth players at the club to ensure they are aware of the stringent safeguarding measures we have in place to protect the welfare of their children enrolled at our Academy.
“The reports of historic sexual abuse in football will have concerned many parents, and it is important for us to be open and discursive with the families of our young players, especially at this time, so that they have the forum to ask questions and we can provide information, support and reassurance.
”We are very proud of the work we do at Newcastle United to protect the welfare of children under our care at the club, and we are confident we meet all industry practice guidelines in respect of the level of protection and support we provide.
“It is right that we take the time to reassure parents of this, to be present and approachable, and to talk about the subject of safeguarding in an open and communicative manner with everyone involved.”
The Newcastle United Foundation also follows the club’s strict safeguarding policy and practices, employing its own dedicated Safeguarding Officer. The Foundation also plans to issue a similar letter to the parents and carers of children enrolled on its courses.
Newcastle United currently employs four dedicated Safeguarding Officers, reporting to the Head of Safeguarding, Welfare and Equality who together are responsible to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults across all areas of the club.
The Newcastle United Academy has had a dedicated full-time Safeguarding, Welfare and Education Officer for four years, with a new lead role due to be appointed in the new year, whose sole aim is the protection of young players enrolled in the club’s youth development programme.
The club operates a dedicated Safeguarding, Welfare and Equality Board which meets monthly and has strong representation from the club’s senior management team.
All staff working with children at the club and within the Newcastle United Foundation are required to undergo criminal record checks carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and, once appointed, are provided with specific safeguarding training and supervised by the club’s dedicated Safeguarding Teams operating across the organisation.
Steve Swinyard, the club’s Head of Safeguarding, Welfare and Equality is currently an FA-licensed and Newcastle Safeguarding Children’s Board-licensed tutor and trainer, regularly providing ‘best practice’ training to professionals within sport and across other sectors in the North East.’