About - Safeguarding & Welfare - Local Initiatives

Club Welfare Officers

safeguarding and welfare in grassroots football

Suffolk FA offers a range of safeguarding services and training to help create a safe and enjoyable football experience for everyone.

We ensure safeguarding requirements are met as a requirement of club affiliation and we support clubs to maintain these standards. This can sometimes include making unannounced safeguarding visits to clubs.

Here in Suffolk we are proud to support a number of award winning Charter Standard Clubs performing some brilliant work in safeguarding and welfare.


for more information about child exploitation & online protection


information & advice for young people in suffolk


Get in Touch

Tel: 01449 616606 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

Email: safeguarding@suffolkfa.com


obtaining a criminal record check (DBS)

Coaches working within an affiliated youth football club must complete their Criminal Records Check (DBS) with their club. This can be carried out via the Club Welfare Officer.

If you require your Criminal Records Check to be verified in an emergency (eg your Club Welfare Officer is unavailable) then a list of County FA verifiers can be found on our website. The cost of a DBS for a volunteer is £10.

Please note: Anyone receiving a wage from football must pay the additional government charge of £44.

When attending a verification meeting with your club or County FA staff please ensure that you bring along all of the correct documents. Please check all documents are in date and if using utility bills that they are within the last three months.

The verifier has to sign a legal declaration that they have seen all the correct documents so the County FA cannot be held responsible for incomplete applications which result in the applicant having to attend another verification meeting.

how we handle reported concerns

Concerns within your club

If you are concerned about your child or another child in your club, you would normally contact your Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in the first instance. You should be given the contact details of the CWO at the start of the season. If you do not know who your CWO is, speak to a coach in your club and ask for their details. The CWO will normally deal with cases of poor practice and behaviour within your club.


County Welfare Officer

For concerns of a serious nature or for advice and guidance contact Designated Safeguarding Officer Hayley Chart on 01449 6126606 or 07572 107791 or email hayley.chart@suffolkfa.com



support for welfare officers

As you know RESPECT is The FA's direct response to a clear message from the grassroots game. We must improve standards of behaviour - on and off the field.

Parental behaviour is one of the main reasons why young players drop out of the game. Poor behaviour by coaches, parents and players has also seen a number of officials drop out each season

The role of the Club Welfare Officer (CWO) is to deal with poor practice cases within their club, give advice and guidance as well as being the lead on CRC’s within the club.

CWOs should always report more serious welfare case to the FA via the County Welfare Officer.

 want to become a welfare officer?


Below are links to County Welfare Officer CPD sessions organised by Suffolk FA during the 2023-24 season:


County Welfare Officer CPD session 1


County Welfare Officer CPD session 2


County Welfare Officer CPD session 3

welfare officer FAQs

You or the coach needs to contact FA CRB 0845 2108080. It may be that the coach has been asked to supply additional information or purely an admin error

In many cases this is just routine to clarify information and is nothing to worry about. If the individual does not comply with the process they will be suspended. It is up to the FA to make a decision on whether they should be accepted

If you are querying a record we would need to have full details of the individual before searching records. That must include full birth name, as well the name they are known as now, address, DOB as well as any previous addresses. You will need to speak to the individual to find out this information

Yes, find out how here

Please register with fachecks@thefa.com

If your are on Whole Game System as the Club Welfare Officer, contact fachecks@thefa.com to register as the verifier

The system recognises your email address as the verifier so you will need use a different email address to register as an applicant

The online system shows the completion of the DBS process. Once that process is completed the FA makes its decision based on the content. There can be a few weeks delay between completion of the DBS process and it showing as accepted on Whole Game System. The DBS certificate is not a certificate of acceptance it is just part of the process. The only way to see if they are accepted is on member services

Your check can only be verified by County FA staff. Contact the CFA WO to arrange verification

Related Articles

View All