Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

Safeguarding 16/17-year-olds playing in Open-Age Football - Action Required

Following communication from The FA, all County FAs are now sharing requirements and best practice of safeguarding across grassroots affiliated football which encompasses 16/17-year-olds playing in open-age football.

The communication confirms that everyone working (i.e. coaching/managing) with under 18s, whether in youth or open-age adult football, are subject to The FA’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, underpinned by legislation. Having undertaken an audit on the FA Whole Game System, some clubs have been highlighted as having 16/17-year-old players.

Listed below are areas which these clubs will now need to consider, with the intention to implement. We recognise this will be a change in practice for some clubs and would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to share that our Designated Safeguarding Officer Helen Hever and colleague, Chloe Hookins, are here to support and assist clubs in this process.

* DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) Checks - coaches/managers and assistants, first aiders and Club Welfare Officer
* Adopting a Safeguarding Children Policy
* Appointing a Club Welfare Officer
* Sharing “Know your Rights” with 16/17-year-old players

The links below offer information, guidance and templates:

Full Guidance, Including Downloads (e.g. Safeguarding Children Policy)
Guidance and Information for 16/17-Year-Olds Participating in Open-Age Football

Contact Details
Helen Hever, Designated Safeguarding Officer,, (01245) 393098
Chloe Hookins, Safeguarding Support Officer,, (01245) 393093

Buckhurst Hill YFC

Safeguarding Policies and Reporting Concerns

The ongoing work to make the game as safe and enjoyable as possible is led by The FA, the game’s governing body.

Social Media Guidance

In today’s world, safeguarding children and young people applies as much online as it does face-to-face.
Leigh Ramblers Girls FC

Local Initiatives

We offer a range of safeguarding services and training to help create a safe and enjoyable football experience for everyone.
safe football environments

prioritising policy

We place the safeguarding and welfare of young people high on our agenda. It's the responsibility of every adult involved in football, thus every club is required to endorse and adhere to The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy.

It’s important to remember that every child or young person, defined as any person under the age of 18, who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse.
Essex Football Structure 2018
Evie Clarke
immediate concerns?

useful contacts

We like to make sure we're offering the support needed by Welfare Officers and welcome concerns or suggestions. The feedback we've had has been really positive and we’d like to provide networking opportunities.
All those involved in the welfare aspect are working hard to provide the best possible environment for young people to participate in football. If you have any concerns regarding the welfare of a young person/s, you should contact the relevant party, and should your concern be of an urgent and immediate nature, the telephone numbers listed will assist you. For other non-urgent queries, you're welcome to contact us via E-Mail at

local safeguarding children

nspcc and childline

NSPCC - (0808) 800 5000 
Local Safeguarding Children - (Outside Office Hours): (0845) 606 1212 
Childline - (0800) 11 11 
Police - 999 

If you are IMMEDIATELY concerned about a child’s welfare, contact the Police or Social Services on (0845) 603 7634 (during office hours) or (0845) 606 1212 (outside office hours).
Escalate Safeguarding


The FA have introduced an integrated method for clubs when completing an FA DBS. Currently, the system requires the applicant to complete an online form (via The FA’s website, GBG online disclosures), the Club Welfare Officer then verifies the form on GBG and, finally, the Club Welfare Officer (CWO) has to refer to the FA Whole Game System to see when the DBS has been accepted by The FA.

The new system reduces administration. The applicant completes the DBS via the Whole Game System. The CWO will then still need to verify the check, but the application will be driven by the Whole Game System, making the process, in the majority of cases, much quicker. Some checks have been known to take a little as two or three days.

Clubs have the option to continue using the current process or to opt into the new system by entering their GBG club pin into the safeguarding section on the Whole Game System. Please DO NOT opt-in until the club is happy to proceed as it is not possible to revert back.

The Essex County FA are currently running a pilot scheme with a couple of clubs and will then offer training in October to support all Essex-affiliated clubs. The purpose of this message is to advise clubs that, although the opt-in can now be selected, consideration must be given before entering the club pin. We would strongly advise clubs to wait until the pilot has been completed. Full details, and the dates for training, will be shared over the next couple of months.