Grassroots football is played by thousands of children every week and is organised by a large group of volunteers. It is the responsibility of everyone involved in the game from players, officials, coaches, parents and spectators to make football for children under 18 an enjoyable, positive and safe experience. The FA and Staffordshire FA are committed to making football a positive and safe experience for children who play, referee or spectators as well as supporting the volunteers in promoting the game.
These are the key principles in promoting children's safe participation in football:
- Children's welfare is always the most paramount consideration.
- All children have the right to be protected from abuse regardless of their gender, age, sexuality, race, culture or religious beliefs.
- All allegations or suspicions of abuse of any kind will be taken seriously and acted on timely and appropriately.
A well run Club should have children's welfare at the centre of its philosophy. This encourages and promotes the physical, social and psychological development of the child as well as encouraging the growth of volunteers and participants within the club. To achieve this Clubs must ensure that they recruit volunteers who have a commitment to safeguarding. All clubs should have a range of policies and procedures to address issues such as anti bullying, social media use, travelling and transport, recruitment, as well as a safeguarding children's policy. These should also be supported by the Clubs code of conduct and should be regularly shared with players, coaches and parents. All Clubs should have a Welfare Officer to support the implementation of these policies as well as assist in addressing any concerns.
Safeguarding Children is everyone's responsibility and having welfare officers in all clubs and leagues with youth teams is crucial to The FA’s simple three part approach to safeguarding and is re-enforced at a local level by Staffordshire Football Association. This includes:
Getting the right people involved – seeking references and criminal records checks (CRC).
Creating a safe environment - codes of conduct, education and best practice.
Promoting clear systems - to deal with any concerns - policy and procedures.
Getting the Right People Involved
Club Welfare Officers (CWO) Resources
Promoting Clear Systems
Information to support
Please click on the documents below in order to gain more information regarding the relevant topics:
Adults involved in coaching, supervising or transporting on a regular basis are required to have a CRC carried out as part of the safeguarding processes. This can be carried out on line and can be supported by your Club Welfare Officer. Please click on the links provided below in order to gain more information about FA Specific CRC's and the CRC process:
How to raise concerns
If you have any concerns regarding the welfare of a child it is important that this is reported as soon as possible. Remember it is not your job to say abuse has taken place, but to raise your concerns. This can be done through your Club Welfare Officer or by contacting Safeguarding & Education Officer, Jan Scott on any of the following:
(T): 01785 256994
(M): 07969 294023
Please click on the links below in order to gain more information about Safeguarding and Welfare Policies and Procedures: