Safeguarding In Open-Age Adult Football
Safeguarding advice for open aged clubs with 16 AND 17-year-old players
Affiliated football holds with the principle that there are some roles within sport where adults have responsibility for, authority and influence over young people and therefore have an ethical obligation to safeguard and protect young people from exploitation.
Whilst legally young people aged 16 and 17 have reached the age of consent for sexual activity, any inappropriate sexual relations with young people aged 16 or 17 will be considered a breach of a ‘Position of Trust’ within affiliated football and will be referred to the appropriate football regulatory authorities and may also be referred to the statutory agencies.
The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration. The Key principles of the FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy are as follows:
• All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
• Working in partnership with other organisations, children and young people and their parents and carers is essential
Any open age adults’ teams that have one or more 16 or 17-year-old players will be required to have a coach with an in-date FA Accepted DBS in order to be compliant.
Please see the table below for further clarification:
|Clubs with under-18s in open-age adult teams (including disability teams) are required to:|
|1. Adopt and adhere to Affiliated Footballs Safeguarding Children Policy
View section 1:
1.4 Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures Club Template
|2. Identify which teams have 16 and/or 17 year old players|
3. Identify the coaches/managers (including assistant coaches/managers) and medics for these teams and list them on The FA’s Whole Game System alongside the registered
This can be done by the club secretary, assistant secretary or if the club has a youth team by the Club Welfare Officer (Youth Teams).
|4. Support coaches/managers (including assistant coaches/managers) and medics working with 16 and/or 17 year olds to complete an FA DBS Check
View section 3:
3.1 Safer recruitment of volunteers
3.5 Eligibility of roles
3.7 DBS FAQs
|5. Provide 16 and 17 year old players with safeguarding information
View section 7:
7.1 Know your rights in football
You can find a 'Safeguarding Children's Policy' template for your club/league at the foot of this page.
Best Practice Documents
The FA have a wealth of best practice documents collectively explaining how to create a supportive, safe and fun environment for children and young people. Given the prevalence of social media use/misuse today, please refer to specific guidance on this subject.
Please click Here to view the FA’s Best Practice Documents
Club Welfare Officer
Although it is not currently an affiliation requirement for ‘Open Aged’ football clubs to have a Club Welfare Officer in post we would highly recommend all ‘Open Aged’ football clubs that have 16 & 17-year-old players to have a safeguarding point of contact in the club. Ideally this individual would have the skills to be able to discuss any potential issues U18 players may be facing and to always accommodate U18’s in football activities.
• Changing Rooms
• Over nights stays
• Ensure appropriate language and content is used on all forms of communication such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Snapchat
Preferably this individual would be listed on the Whole Game System as the Club Welfare Officer.
If you have any questions or need any support, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the safeguarding team using the contact details shown above.
Open-Age Adult Clubs with 16 and 17-year-old players - Clubs with Adult and Youth Teams
Club Safeguarding Children Policy for Adult Leagues
Club Safeguarding Children Policy for Youth Leagues
Know Your Rights in Football
Open-Age Adult Football Clubs Safeguarding Responsibilities (Clubs)
Football Safeguarding & Welfare Manager
(Available Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm)