The Scottish FA Board has today approved the terms of reference for the independent review of non-recent sexual abuse allegations in Scottish football.
The review will now commence after the ratification of Martin Henry DSW, CQSW, M.Phil as chair. Martin has over 40 years clinical and forensic experience in the field of child and public protection and most recently was National Manager of Stop It Now! Scotland, the national programme for the prevention of child sexual abuse.
The independent review has been set up:
- To consider whether or not and to what extent the Scottish FA was aware of the matters highlighted and now brought to its attention;
- To consider what steps were taken by the Scottish FA during the relevant periods in relation to the protection of children brought to its attention at that time and; to identify any failings or deficiencies on the part of the Scottish FA in that regard;
- To consider what steps were taken by its members and/or affiliated and/or associated organisations, either at the time of them being made aware or subsequently, and identified as relevant to the alleged incident(s) and to those concerned. This will include responses, decisions and actions either taken or omitted; and,
- To consider what lessons have been learned by the Scottish FA and its members and/or affiliated and/or associated organisations since those incidents took place and following any investigations that have taken place to ensure that the risk of abuse is reduced and where possible eliminated.
The review will:
- Only cover areas where the Scottish FA has jurisdiction but, where information comes to light that is not within its jurisdiction this will, where legally permissible, be passed to relevant authorities whether that be the police or other regulatory authorities (sporting or otherwise) in the jurisdiction(s) concerned;
- Not determine the nature of any liability on the part of any individual or organisation whether that be criminal, civil or regulatory;
- Where potential breaches of football rules and regulations are highlighted refer these to the Scottish FA to consider what if any action can and/or should be taken; and,
- Be conducted in as transparent a manner as possible in particular having regard to duties of confidentiality, security and data protection.
The review is cognisant of ongoing investigations relevant to the matters that it seeks to review.
To this end, it will work with all other relevant inquiries to ensure that, where legally possible, all relevant information is shared whilst ensuring that all criminal investigations are given primacy as appropriate.
Any and all allegations of child abuse referred to the Review shall be referred to the Police in the first instance.
The findings of the Review will be reported to the Scottish FA Board once complete and it is our intention to publish on the Scottish FA website.
No final date can be given at this stage given the ongoing nature of matters arising, the passage of time and the time it may take to recall relevant information, materials and to locate all relevant people to interview acknowledging that said individuals may no longer be domiciled within Scotland.
Martin Henry, National Manager DSW, CQSW, M.Phil
Martin qualified as a professional social worker in 1974. His professional/academic qualifications include a Master of Philosophy Degree in Child Protection Studies awarded by the University of Dundee in 1993. Martin’s professional expertise is in the investigation/assessment of child sexual abuse and in working with men who have problematic sexual behaviours including those who offend online. Martin employs a formulation approach in his work supporting the delivery of individual psychoeducational interventions.
Martin has presented widely on professional issues both internationally and in Scotland and has served on a wide range of Government and national bodies in relation to the protection of children and the prevention and management of sex offending. These have included the Scottish Government Main Sub-Group on Visual Recording/Investigative Interviewing of Child Witnesses (2007 – 2009), and the Scottish Government National Strategic Group on Investigative Interviewing of Children and Visual Recording
He is currently Vice-Convenor of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Survivors of Sexual Abuse; a member of the Scottish Executive Committee of the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA); and a Life Member of the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending (SASO).