The Scottish FA is in the process of recruiting an independent chair to lead the review of Child Sexual Abuse in football.
The governing body has worked with various partners and agencies in recent weeks, both in establishing an appropriate terms of reference for the review and in ensuring that child wellbeing and protection remains our highest priority.
It is anticipated that a preferred candidate to chair the review will be made to the Board and approved next month.
Work will begin immediately thereafter in reviewing the non-recent allegations of sexual abuse within Scottish football, complementing Police Scotland’s primacy as the investigatory authority in the matter.
A delegation from the Scottish FA continues to meet regularly with Police Scotland as part of an information-sharing protocol and to ensure clear communication between the respective organisations.
In addition, our Child Wellbeing and Protection Manager, Donna Martin, has convened meetings with survivors of child sexual abuse, an open forum to hear their perspectives, provide support and to help shape and influence an appropriate terms of reference for the association’s independent review.
The first draft of the terms has now been completed and will be presented to the survivors group at its next scheduled meeting later this month, to allow for further discussion and feedback before being presented to the Scottish FA board in February.
“The ongoing dialogue we have had with survivors has contributed significantly to defining the terms of reference for the independent review,” said Donna.
“We received a wide range of feedback from the survivors, including the timeframe for completion of the review, that there should be no limit to the period of time the review examines, and that it should encompass all football in Scotland. It is vitally important to the Scottish FA that all parties are satisfied with the content before the review proceeds.”
In addition, meetings have been held with a range of professional and third-sector organisations with expertise in supporting survivors of abuse.
These meetings have formed the basis for scoping a needs assessment and referral route that will enable the Scottish FA to appropriately support survivors of abuse who come forward.
As a result, any survivors coming forward will receive a professional needs assessment from a clinical psychologist, who will then refer the victim to the appropriate level of support.
Members were kept informed about the latest developments at a Q&A session held at Hampden in late December, and the Scottish FA has continued to deal with any reports of abuse with the utmost discretion.
The Scottish FA again urges anyone with information relating to abuse or inappropriate behaviour, both historical and current, to get in touch via the NSPCC’s helpline, 0800 023 2642, or firstname.lastname@example.org