Safeguarding and Welfare



The FA has produced a film 'Let's Talk About Keeping Children Safe in Football’ which makes clear what parents should expect from clubs and what to do if they have concerns.



English football takes safeguarding extremely seriously. The ongoing work to make the game as safe and enjoyable as possible is led by The FA, the game’s governing body in this country. This work is delivered through County FAs such as ourselves in conjunction with leagues and clubs.

A clear safeguarding strategy has been put in place by English football to protect people involved in the national game. It is complete with policies, procedures and regulations. Every club in the country must adhere to the policies which apply to them. If not, they face sanctions, including suspension from playing.

Policies include the mandatory appointment of a Club Welfare Officer(s) for every league or club with youth teams. There is also a requirement for specified club committee officers to complete the free online ‘Safeguarding for Committee Members’ course. While mandatory for specified officers, the course is open to anyone to raise their awareness of potential situations and how to deal with them.

Welfare Officers must have an FA-accepted Criminal Record Check, which has to be renewed every three years. They must also undertake regular FA-approved safeguarding training. With the club committee’s support, Welfare Officers ensure the appropriate checks and training are completed for anyone at the club working with children and young people under the age of 18.

Explanatory films and general information (see below) outline how safeguarding concerns should be reported to the football authorities – and how they are investigated. They also show how we work together across the game and with the statutory agencies to investigate and risk-manage any concerns raised.

The topics below cover the safeguarding framework for everyone in affiliated football in England. Please click on the relevant one to get more information.

In the meantime, should you have any questions about safeguarding please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Safeguarding Requirements U18 Players in Open Age Football

Following communication from the FA, all County FAs are now sharing requirements and best practice of safeguarding across grassroots football which includes 16 and 17-year-old players in open-age football.

Everyone working with under U18s including managers/coaches, whether in youth or open-age adult football, are subject to The FA’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.

Where U18’s will be playing, the coaching/management team must hold an in-date FA DBS and are required to completed the FREE Player Welfare in Open Age Course - CLICK HERE

If the club have a youth section, the Club Welfare Officer may be able to assist with the DBS. If this is not possible, please contact Asfia or Jose, who will be able to offer support.

Listed below are areas that these clubs will now need to consider, with the intention to implement by the start of the 2024/2025 season. We recognise this will be a change in practice for some clubs. Our Designated Safeguarding Officer Asfia Naureen and Deputy Designated Officer, Jose Gomes, are here to support and assist clubs in this.

DBS Checks for all team officials that include an U18 player in their team.

Adoption of a safeguarding children policy.

Clubs are required to appoint an FA compliant Adult Welfare Officer. They will need to complete the Player Welfare in Open Age Course. This course is online and FREE to complete. To ensure compliance for the start of the season we would recommend completing the course as soon as possible.

Please share the “know your rights” document with U18 players.

Consider changing room facilities. Children are not permitted in adult changing rooms, and this includes U18 players.

For full guidance please see information using the link below where there are useful downloads available


  • The FA Safeguarding- a link to all The FA policies and information in one place
  • Reporting concerns – theconfidential and effective ways to report concerns about a child’s welfare.This section includes two explanatory films: ‘Reporting Concerns’ and ‘The Four Steps to Safeguarding’.
  • Criminal Record Checks (DBS) – their importance and how to obtain one through The FA so records are maintained for validity.
  • Safeguarding training – relevant and engaging online and face to face courses and workshops for everyone working with children and young people
  • Welfare Officers – their role and responsibilities, and how to become one.
  • Safeguarding Policies and Procedures – to help ensure appropriate safeguards are in place.
  • Best-practice downloads – collectively explaining how to create a supportive, safe and fun environment for children and young people. Given the prevalence of social media use/misuse today, please click here for specific guidance on this subject.

    Related organisations
     and their roles:
  • CPSU (Child Protection in Sport Unit)
  • CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)
  • NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)
  • Local Police
  • Local authority social services


Safeguarding Policies


Social Media Guidance



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