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Let's make football safe, not sorry!


Safeguarding Children is about creating a fun, safe, positive football environment for all children and young people under the age of 18.

Most children and young people have a fantastic experience through football – but sadly, some don't.

This might be down to over-competitive parents and coaches shouting and constantly criticising them from the sidelines – the kind of behaviour that the Respect programme is designed to address. Or it might be due to some other kind of abusive behaviour towards them.

Safeguarding Children is everyone's responsibility and having welfare officers in all clubs and leagues with youth teams is crucial to The FA’s simple three part approach to safeguarding. This includes; 

  • Right People; Getting the right people involved by seeking references and CRB checks.

  • Right Behaviour; Create a safe environment, using code of conducts, education and following best practice.

  • Right Actions; Promoting clear systems to deal with any concerns. 



Remember: It is NOT our responsibility to decide if abuse has taken place BUT if we have concerns it IS our responsibility to act and report those concerns.



Building a Supporting Network


  • CWO - Every junior club must have a Club Welfare Officer. 

  • YLWO - Every junior league must have a League Welfare Officer. 

  • CFAWO - Each County FA have a County Welfare Officer.  or call 08449 67 07 08 (Option4).

  • Case Management - The FA have a Safeguarding team. 

  • RDO - Referee Development Officer will work closely with CFAWO.


0808 800 5000 alternatively you can text 88858. 

The NSPCC Helpline is a free, 24-hour service which provides advice to anyone worried about a child.


Childline is yours – a free, private and confidential service where you can be you. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, however you want to get in touch. We're here for you online, on the phone, anytime.


The Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (CEOP) works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. We protect children from harm online and offline, directly through NCA led operations and in partnership with local and international agencies.

Child protection is at the heart of everything we do and our approach is holistic. Law enforcement officers in CEOP and across the NCA work side by side with professionals from the wider child protection community and industry.

The 'Report Abuse' button at the top of our website links directly to CEOP.

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Checks

Who needs to have a CRB check?

Anyone who is regularly working or volunteering directly with children and young people in football needs to have an enhanced CRB check. Regular is defined as once a month or more, more than twice in 30 days or overnight. Activities include: teaching, training, instructing, supervising, giving advice or guidance, treating or caring for children or driving for the club.


Remember, a CRB is required for each role that an individual has working or volunteering with children and vulnerable adults. This means even if an individual has completed a CRB check through work an additional check is required for football. 

How do I check if someone has a CRB or not?

Club Welfare Officers can now use the Members’ Services on the Lincolnshire FA website to check and manage the CRB and Safeguarding Children Workshop status of club members of their club. 

How much does a CRB check cost?

The cost for the administration of the CRB checks is £15.30. This price includes VAT at the current rate and therefore could be subject to change. The cost of a CRB for a volunteer is therefore £15.30. Please note The FA does not make a profit from the CRB process.

There is now an online CRB service. This means that CRB’s can be done for a fee of £10 per application. This is a quicker, easier, cheaper and more secure way of completing CRB’s and will hopefully reduce the number of errors. To take advantage of this great system club welfare officers should contact the FA CRB Unit on 0845 210 80 80 or via email on 

Where can I get more information?

Further information and downloads can be found at: or alternatively you can contact the CRB Unit on 0845 210 8080

Read more here

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