Safeguarding in Open Age Football

All open age clubs and leagues will have received a letter from The FA in the last few days, reminding them of their safeguarding responsibilities for 16 & 17 year old players and adults in disability teams.

If your team has any 16/17 year old players who are registered at any time during the season,  or on loan or you allow players from your youth section to train regularly with adult teams, then you have a responsibility to ensure safeguards are in place. This means an FA DBS check for all your coaches working with U18 and knowledge of The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy.

All clubs with Youth teams will already have a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in place and they can support your open age teams with DBS checks and guidance. We strongly advise all clubs with U18 players to recruit a CWO to support safeguarding and manage the DBS process. Please speak to our Designated Safeguarding Officer Sarah DaCosta about the CWO role.

We also want to ensure that your 16/17 year old players are clear about what to do if they have a concern and The FA has developed some guidance in consultation with teenage players.

If you have U18 players in your teams then you should:

  • Adopt and implement The FA's Safeguarding Children Policy. The FA has provided a template you can use (below).
  • Identify coaches/managers & medics for teams with 16/17 year olds and ensure your coaches/managers & medics for teams with 16/17 yr olds have an in-date FA DBS check
  • Distribute FA guidance to 16/17 yr olds (below)

The FA has also recently launched a FREE Safeguarding Adults in Disability Football online course (link below)

Bedfordshire FA is committed to safe and enjoyable football for all. We here to support all our clubs and leagues to ensure these requirements are met and we can support you with any questions you may have about criminal record checks (DBS) and safeguarding.

For further information and advice please contact our Designated Safeguarding Officer

Sarah DaCosta tel 07960500723 email

Download the Letter to Clubs

Download the Letter to Leagues

Link to Safeguarding Children Policy 

Link to DBS Checks FAQs 

Link to Information for 16 and 17 year olds 

Link to Safeguarding Adults in Disability Football