Safeguarding and Welfare

Safeguarding remains high on The FA's agenda; the goal being to have someone at every club in the country aware of child protection and best practice, whether it's a Premiership Academy or a Sunday morning park side. Safeguarding relates to any child under the age of 18 years.

Safeguarding is about doing things the right way, doing things properly. It's about allowing children to enjoy the game without abuse of any kind. That means bullying, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect.

The FA believes football can have a powerful positive influence on children but that means everyone involved in football must take on the responsibility of looking after those children that want to play the game.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding safeguarding issues contact Richard Hughes, County Welfare Officer on 0191 3872929 or email

Educational Courses

FA Safeguarding Children Workshop - (Click here to book a course)
The Football Association recognises that every child who plays football should be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse of any kind.
The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop is a three-hour workshop designed to share correct practice and offer the opportunity to implement policies and procedures that will benefit every member of a Club.

FA Welfare Officer Workshop (WOW) - (Click here to book a course)
FA Welfare Officer Training is a mandatory course for all Welfare Officer’s. Eligibility criteria to attend a WOW require applicants to have completed a Safeguarding Children course and have a valid FA CRC disclosure.

Each youth league and club must have at least one fully certificated Welfare Officer in place as this is a mandatory requirement of the affiliation process within youth football. Many leagues and clubs have more than one welfare officer in post to share the role and responsibility – as a rule of thumb it is common to see one Welfare Officer to every four teams within a club.

The WOW is designed to explore the role of the welfare officer and identify the support networks for ‘designated persons’ in football. It will assist welfare officers to recognise the best practice that is already in place to safeguard youth leagues and youth teams and identify any areas that need to be addressed to provide fun, safe, positive football environments.

The course will support welfare officers to take ownership and develop confidence in dealing with poor practice issues, provide information on key child protection legislation and statutory agencies and provide clarity on reporting concerns about child abuse. The course supports The FA's strategic goal to raise standards across the game and IT demonstrates our capacity to be trusted to lead. 

WOW is a workshop designed to answer questions such as:
§ What responsibilities do welfare officers have to safeguard children?
§ What responsibilities do clubs and leagues have to safeguard children?
§ How does a Welfare Officer ensure the club is following best practice?
§ What should a Welfare Officer do when concerns are reported about poor practice, bullying and or abuse within or outside a football setting?
§ What is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS); what is a Criminal Records Check (CRC) and who should have a check done?

The workshop is interactive and informal; tutors draw on participant's experiences and knowledge as well as developing learning through presentation and small group activities.

FA Criminal Record Checks
Safeguarding and Welfare Downloads
Safeguarding Children Contacts
FA Respect
FA Report Abuse