Child protection (CP) has risen to the top of the UK sports policy agenda in the past four years and the Football Association has invested in this major strategy as part of its commitment to “use the power of football to build a better future” (FA, 2000a). Evidencing the impact of child protection is, however, a complex task, exacerbated by the dearth of measurement tools that exist for this purpose in sport. This article presents a new model of ‘Activation States’ that has been designed and used to measure shifts in football culture as child protection has begun to impact upon the sport. The model is used to map changes over time related to the knowledge, feelings, actions and discourses of key stakeholders in football. The research for which the model was designed is a longitudinal study, commissioned by the English Football (soccer) Association, on the impact of the organisation’s child protection strategy on the culture of soccer. Sample data from the project are used to illustrate the model and to examine its potential and limitations as a tool for measuring impacts in child protection and other social inclusion themes.
- child protection (policy and practice)