Safeguarding Children

Children love playing football, however well our national team, the team we support or the teams we play for are doing. Creating a fun, safe and enjoyable football environment is central to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Most children and young people have a wonderful experience through football - but sadly some don't. The Football Association takes its role as guardian of the game extremely seriously at every level and is committed to using the power of football to build a better future. That is why The FA developed and maintains its safeguarding focus.

The initiatives established were not launched as a response to some vast problem in the game. They are there to ensure that children continue to enjoy their football in a safe environment and provide guidance for all those involved in football.

Safeguarding Children is everyone's responsibility and making it mandatory for welfare officers to be appointed in every youth club and league with youth teams, is important to The FA's three-part approach to safeguarding. This includes:

  • Getting the right people involved - safe recruitment including CRC checks
  •  Creating a safe environment - codes of conduct, education and best practice
  •  Promoting clear and understandable systems - dealing with concerns, policies and procedures


The Football Association Child Protection Policy

The aim of this policy is to develop a pro-active and positive position in order to protect all children, young people and vulnerable adults who are involved in football. This enables them to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.

The policy covers all activities run by The FA. An example is The FA Charter Standard Award. This award recognises best practice in football clubs and leagues. To gain the recognition, best practice has to be demonstrated which includes following The FA's child protection procedures.


Safeguarding Children Workshops

This workshop is a requirement for all FA qualified managers, coaches, welfare officers, referees and medics. It is not just for the mentioned persons, the workshop is available to anyone who wishes to attend.

For dates and venues click on the link to the courses webpage or contact Mike Phillips on 01449 776315 or email


Welfare Officer Workshops

The Welfare Officer Workshop is a requirement for all club and league welfare officers

Prerequisites: Welfare officers must complete the Safeguarding Children Workshop to gain a basic awareness of safeguarding before attending the Welfare Officer Workshop.

They also must have successfully completed an FA CRC Enhanced Disclosure. For dates and venues please click on the relevant link or contact Mike Phillips on 01449 776315 or email


The Respect Programme and Safeguarding Children

Respect is The FA's programme to combat unacceptable behaviour - both on and off the pitch. Aggressive adult behaviour is one of the main reasons why young players, coaches and referees drop out from football. Find out what you can do to ensure 'Respect' is part of your football by contacting Suffolk FA's lead Respect officer, Darryn Marsh, on 01449 776319 or 07572 107791 or email 


For more information

If you would like further information regarding safeguarding or want to discuss a concern then contact the county welfare officer, Darryn Marsh, on 01449 776319 or 07572 107791 or email 

In addition, and in partnership with the NSPCC, The FA opened The FA/NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000. This is a 24-hour telephone line for children and adults to seek advice or report a concern on a confidential and, if required, anonymous basis.

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