Local Initiatives

How We Safeguard Essex Grassroots

We offer 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 includes making unannounced safeguarding visits to clubs.

At the beginning of each season, all clubs need to name a Club Welfare Officer (CWO). We recognise that, without volunteer CWOs, football in Essex wouldn't have as many safeguards in place. Although their hard work is not always noticed when things are going well, you can be sure everyone will be asking questions if they go wrong! These people, who are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked, will be able to advise you of any concerns you may have regarding young people.

They will have, or will be, attending a Safeguarding Children Workshop enabling them to be able to deal with welfare issues. The details of your club’s CWO should be available in your club material. As well as a CWOs, the league also has a League Welfare Officer. The FA only uses checks called 'Enhanced Disclosures', which are conducted on an individual to make sure they do not have any convictions which might mean they are not safe to work with young people.

If you are in a welfare role, you can also attend the Welfare Officer Workshop. This course builds on the Safeguarding Children Course and is directed specifically towards the Welfare Officers, whereas the Safeguarding Children is attended by referees, coaches etc.

DBS Checks

Parent and Carer Guidance
DBS Checks have become a part of the game at youth level to ensure the country’s youngsters can enjoy football in a secure environment, providing parents and carers with piece of mind that their child is in the safest possible hands.

The FA are keen to ensure the DBS process runs as smoothly as possible and have provided the facility for checks to be undertaken online. Further details on how to achieve this can be found below, as well as a brief background on why DBS Checks are necessary.

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) (SVGA), was drafted following the death of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in August 2002. It aims to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

This act had an impact on football for Under 18s and The FA has worked hard to ensure the voice of football has been heard and understood by Government. There is an increasing level of awareness about this act and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) were created by it.

There is also natural anxiety. The FA takes its responsibilities as a national governing body seriously and are providing counties, leagues and clubs with a systematic approach to the requirements of the Act. The FA and the Essex County FA are providing support, answers to frequently asked questions and training.

Each season, grassroots football clubs with youth sections must do the following in order to affiliate:

  • ensure they have a Club Welfare Officer in place who has an FA DBS Check and has completed Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officer Workshops 
  • ensure their Club Welfare Officer is familiar with The FA’s Online Safeguarding Children Service. This is The FA’s tool for ensuring Club Welfare Officers can see who has been DBS checked. The system also allows Club Welfare Officers to see who has completed their Safeguarding Children training.

In order to access this facility, clubs should contact The Media Group (TMG) on (0845) 210 80 80 (or E-Mail to gain the relevant information. Please ensure you provide your FAN Number in the Personal Reference Number field provided (if known).

Once completed and submitted, you are required to provide proof of identity to your County FA Verifier/Club Welfare Officer in support of your application. All Identity Documents (ID) must be original. The list of acceptable ID and an ID selection tool form part of the online application.

The verifier will look through your original ID documents and submit the application to TMG (The FA’s CRC department) where the application will be validated before progressing. Upon completion, TMG will issue you with a copy of the DBS Disclosure, update their records and forward the disclosure result to The FA.

The FA is aware that people are anxious about the cost of the new scheme. The Government will not be charging volunteers though, at present, The FA needs to levy an administration charge (currently £20 for the DBS, or £10 online). The aim is to keep this low as possible.

Volunteer Fee: £10
Non-Volunteer Fee: £54

A volunteer is defined as a person engaged in activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than, or in addition to, a close relative.

By completing an online DBS Enhanced Disclosure application, the applicant is allowing The FA to have sight of any criminal record or non-conviction information that is held and released by the police via the DBS process.

This information may include outstanding prosecutions and relevant allegations of criminal behaviour. In-line with the DBS Code of Practice, The FA may disclose this information to those involved in making a suitability decision. The FA may use any or all of this information to help decide on your suitability to be involved with children or vulnerable adults in football.

Yes. The online service is tested, approved, audited and used by several Government departments. Information security management: UKAS accredited, ISO27, 001:2005. Should you require any further information regarding the FA DBS online service, please E-Mail or phone (0845) 210 80 80.

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