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West Ham United FC

West Ham United FC

Women’s Team Head of Safeguarding


posting Date

role Type



Mar 10, 2024


Company Description

A job opening for a senior staff member has become available in the West Ham United Women's Football Leadership Team. The role involves managing and overseeing safeguarding concerns, welfare arrangements, and wellbeing initiatives for players aged between 16 and 18, as well as adult players. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will have management responsibilities for the Academy Safeguarding Officer and will work closely with Women's Team Managers to prioritize safeguarding and adopt inclusive practices across all departments and areas of operations. The position requires expertise in implementing, monitoring, and reviewing safeguarding strategies and aligning safeguarding arrangements with statutory and regulatory guidelines such as Keeping Children Safe in Education in 2023.


Key Responsibilities

Responsible for all safeguarding and child protection matters within the Women's Team structure, supporting staff dealing with related concerns.
To be available for staff, players, and families/carers to discuss safeguarding and welfare concerns.
To provide management oversight of open cases and reported cause for concern referrals by staff through the sharing of information;
To be given the time, funding, training, resources, status and authority within the Women Football environment and, where required across the Club, to carry out the duties of the post, including committing resources and, where appropriate, training, advising, supporting and directing other staff to act to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults;
Refer cases of suspected abuse and neglect to the local authority children social care, LADO, and FA and Premier League Safeguarding Departments.
Refer cases to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a person is dismissed or leaves due to risk or harm to a child.
Support the embedding of safeguarding and welfare matters across the Women Department, including supporting the handling of concerns and issues and supporting mentoring and case management.
To ensure all staff, players, families, and WSL partners receive welfare and pastoral support, acting as the primary and senior point of contact.
Ensure the growth and well-being of young players through coordinated pastoral care while also prioritising education and future employment.
Ensure that the Club can evidence staff are supported in understanding their responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable groups.
Help develop the Club's training plan and conduct safe staff briefings.
Act as an additional source of safeguarding support and advice across the Club as required.
Support in the transition of Under 18 players across the Academy and First Team.
Proactively promote and raise safeguarding awareness, including developing and delivering relevant training and workshops to staff, players, parents, and stakeholders.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead has management responsibility for the Academy Safeguarding Officer.

Strategy Policy

Drive formal executive coaching and operational advice to the Women Management Team, Lead Coaches and more comprehensive staff around safeguarding and risk management to foster a culture that encourages high-quality practice at all levels.
Mould is an integrated safeguarding and wellbeing service that develops and delivers bespoke and innovative pastoral care strategies that align with broader organisational needs.
Lead, develop and implement an effective and responsive Safeguarding Strategy and contribute to the Club and Academy Mental Health Well-being Strategy.
Ensure all policies, procedures, and guidance remain up to date and develop new policies where appropriate, ensuring compliance with safeguarding legislation and guidance.
Collaboratively shape safeguarding and wellbeing support consistent with local demands and priorities.
Contribute as a senior leadership team member to promote a culture of inclusivity, transparency, and confidence and demonstrate sustainable organisational improvement.

Provide strategy oversight to pro-actively promote and raise safeguarding awareness, including the development and delivery of relevant training and workshops to staff, players, parents and all relevant stakeholders


Accountable for ensuring audit recommendations are monitored, reviewed and implemented.
Drive risk management to mitigate organisational, financial and reputational risk.
Ensure safeguarding complaints are acted upon appropriately, and outcomes are monitored, implemented and evaluated.
With guidance from the Director of Safeguarding Inclusion, lead on investigating and managing safeguarding concerns and allegations and coordinate multi-disciplinary responses.
Where appropriate, provide independent Safeguarding support to HR and managers with disciplinary processes and investigations and safer recruitment processes.
Advocate for staff in crisis and conflict, responding proportionally and resiliently to urgent and critical situations.
Support and promote a commitment to systematic restorative practices and draw on expertise to develop innovative solutions.
Ensure the alignment of safeguarding policies and practices across the whole Women Department, including safeguarding arrangements for U18 players, playing up to the first team

Work alongside HR to deliver a safe working environment, including ensuring there are effective safer recruitment procedures in place and, accurate central records are maintained
Produce regular safeguarding reports for the attention of senior leads.

Resource Management

Ensure all safeguarding and wellbeing services adhere to the overall organisational strategy and inform future planning.
Use Safeguarding knowledge and expertise to support funding applications and new business opportunities that contribute to the organisation's growth.
Identify the need to generate content and resources to implement training and awareness strategies across the department. Influence workforce development and organisational resilience.
Track data concerning behaviour, incidents, and concerns to inform organisational direction.
Ensure sensitive information is held securely and is GDPR compliant, and all safeguarding and wellbeing concerns are logged appropriately on CPOMS.
Work with relevant parties and departments to support staff, volunteers, and participants who have reported a wellbeing concern, ensure appropriate risk assessments and support plans are implemented and create a psychologically safe workspace.
Build organisational resilience by expanding safeguarding and wellbeing resources and manage Safeguarding Volunteers, Internships and Student Placements.
Support the achievements of the department KPIs, delivery of the life skills programme and day-to-day advice and guidance.

Partnership, Stakeholder Third Parties

Working with football and statutory authorities, key partners and peer organisations to share information to manage risk, strengthen safeguarding arrangements and share good practices.

Build and maintain positive relationships with statutory agencies and safeguarding partners and attend and contribute to local network meetings and forums.
Contribute to successful relationships and collaborations with all key partners and stakeholders.
Arrange and Chair regular Welfare Cross Club and Third-Party meetings.
Develop creative relationships and influence cohesive working between internal departments, including HR, EDI, and Education in all safeguarding and wellbeing matters.
Work with the Academy Manager, Player Psychology, Player-Care and wider welfare colleagues to ensure the Club's duty of care for children as young people transitioning out of the Academy.
Develop a strong listening culture for all stakeholders by creating and leading a Parent Voice Group. Ensuring parents/carers are consulted on changes to Academy policies that will affect them and their children.
Support the ongoing development of the Player Voice Leadership group by collaborating with internal and external sources, adding various experiences and enrichment for the players, as well as supporting the local community.

Inclusivity Equity

1. To ensure that all departments are provided with an anti-discriminatory framework and take account of such issues as race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, sexual orientation and age.

2. To work to promote equitable opportunities for all stakeholders.

We are committed to the principle of inclusivity and equitable opportunities in employment and have been accredited as Disability Confident Leaders. We will actively promote inclusivity and equitable opportunities in our business to ensure that individuals receive fair and equitable treatment and are consistent with their relevant aptitudes, potential skills, and abilities.

Safeguarding Cultural Competence

West Ham United FC prioritises safeguarding children and 'adults at risk' and working relentlessly to keep all stakeholders safe. Accordingly, positions that involve working with such groups are subject to safer recruitment protocols, including DBS Disclosure at an enhanced level.

A failure to think about the range of individual or group needs could result in unintentional indirect discrimination. Thus, all work practices and engagements with others must consider any additional support, learning and training needs will be identified.

Staff and volunteers will be reminded of their role in promoting a safe and Inclusive Club environment for children, young people and 'adults at risk'. Further, staff are aware of their duty to safeguard and protect children and young people regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


Person Specification

The ideal candidate will have skills and experience in the following areas: -

Essential (E) Desirable (D)

Education, Qualifications, Experience

Employment history working as a DSL or Deputy DSL
A track record of driving strategies to ensure safeguarding is highly effective (E)
Recent experience of working effectively with external agencies, local community and a governing body (E)
. Evidence of leading and implementing change (E)
. Strong safeguarding and pastoral experience (E)
. Experienced in managing safeguarding concerns and keeping clear and comprehensive records of incidents, allegations, details of progress and investigation outcomes. (E)
. A highly visible and leading role in overseeing safeguarding arrangements for children, young people (E)
. A track record in overseeing safeguarding arrangements for 'adults at risk' (D) Track record of creating, implementing and updating policies and procedures for the safeguarding of children and 'adults at risk' (E)
. Keep up to date records of disclosures, reporting of concerns and required staffing qualifications (E)

Skills, Abilities, Behaviours

Commitment to collaborative and consultative working (E)
Proven ability to design and implement innovative support strategies which are driven by the needs of children and young people(E)
Demonstrable experience of strategies to raise standards; an aptitude and enthusiasm for effective analysis of data and its use in setting targets for improvement (D)
Evidence of working in partnerships and effective collaboration with other organisations and agencies. (E)
Strong strategic abilities that translate into clear and coherent plans and hold others to account (E)
An innovative and collegiate leadership style with the ability to motivate staff towards that vision and to build on the existing high standards in the organisation (E)
An understanding of the importance of and the desire to engage with and inspire young people, whatever their challenges. The ability to deal sensitively with complex problems that can arise in child protection issues and/or similar matters (E)
A commitment to working in partnership with an enthusiastic, stable and experienced Governing Body to ensure that they have the information and materials required for the proper discharge of their roles and responsibilities (E)
Experienced in managing the pressures and demands of being a Safeguarding Lead while ensuring the demands of the post do not preclude a full and balanced life (E)
Ability to lead and inspire staff and managers to communicate high expectations across all areas (E)
A proven ability to manage change and to establish and maintain good working relationships with staff, children, young people, parents and 'adults at risk' – the ability to work well with others is vital (E)
Recent involvement in providing training and development for staff (D)
Strong written communication and presentation skills; high-order administrative and management skills, including risk assessment and report writing (E)
Excellent organisational skills, ability to effectively manage competing priorities and adhere to a range of tight deadlines (E)
Strong emotional intelligence that is attuned to supporting participants, parents and staff (E)
Experience of using data for improvement (D)
A creative and innovative thinker, able to engage in debate with all stakeholders (E)
High degree of professionalism and integrity, who will uphold the values of West Ham FC (E)

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