Safeguarding Children in Football
At Abbeymead Rovers FC, we take the health, safety and well-being of our members seriously. We have in place many policies and procedures to ensure we comply to FA and Government regulations with respect to children under the age of 18 and vulnerable adults.
All of our players, coaches, committee members and parents/guardians should feel that the activities the club provides is safe and that no child or vulnerable adult is at harm.
It is important that people are aware of the following safeguarding information:
- How to report a safeguarding concern?
- Safeguarding policies and procedures
- Requirements and training for people working with children and vulnerable adults
Remember, the safety and well-being of our members is everyone's responsibility!
How to report a safeguarding concern?
There are four ways a safeguarding concern can be reported and these are shown below. Where a child or vulnerable adult is at immediate risk, you should always contact the police using 999 or 112.
The Gloucestershire FA have a dedicated safeguarding team who are able to listen to and act upon any welfare concerns or issues. You can contact the Gloucestershire FA safeguarding team using the details below:
Hugh Feltham - Designated Safeguarding Officer
Where a child or vulnerable adult is at immediate risk, you shoud contact the police/authorities on 999 or 112 immediatly.
If you have a concern, you can contact the following organisations:
Police Non-Emergency Number: 101
NSPCC (for Adults): 0808 800 5000 (24 Hour)
Childline (for Children): 0800 1111 (24 Hour)
A message to Abbeymead Rovers FC from Mark Bullingham - Chief Executive, The FA
I want to personally thank you and your committee for your hard work and resilience, in what has – and continues to be – an exceptionally challenging season with all the impact Covid-19 has had on our great game.
We know from speaking with many people within leagues and clubs just how challenging this has been and how much effort has been put in by so many people across the game. The impact of Covid-19 has been widespread for us all.
Some players may find they are not as physically fit as they were before lockdown. Others may have struggled mentally and emotionally by being away from the game. Sadly, there will be some who’ve seen family members become unwell, or who have experienced a bereavement, or witnessed or suffered abuse in the home.
With all the above in mind, please ask your league/club officials to report any concerns that may come to light about a child’s welfare, (including 16/17-year-olds in the open-age game) to the County FA, The FA or statutory authorities. A reminder about recognising, responding to and reporting concerns, can be found here.
On a wider level, you may have seen media coverage about the publication of Clive Sheldon QC’s independent review into non-recent child sexual abuse in football. The FA commissioned this review in December 2016, shortly after many former footballers from professional and grassroots football bravely spoke out about the appalling abuse they had suffered as children in football.
We wanted to let you know directly about the Review, which is published here and you can find The FA’s statement about the Review here. I have issued a heartfelt apology to survivors that such appalling abuse took place in football and there is a framework of support in place to assist those survivors who want to access it. Further information can be accessed here.
Please be assured that we remain committed to building on the strong safeguarding foundations we have established across the game over the past two decades. To fulfil this commitment, we need your continued help and support. Together, we must strive to create football environments in which children feel ever safer, more included and most importantly, have fun. This means everyone being vigilant and confident to tackle unacceptable or abusive behaviours.
Together, let’s continue our efforts to create child-friendly football environments and ensure the welfare of children and young people – whether they are players, coaches, referees or volunteers – is at the centre of our decision making.
Chief Executive, The FA
For those working with youth teams
For those of you working with youth teams some resources that your league/club may find helpful to refer members to our:
- The free FA online Safeguarding For All training for volunteers and helpers.
- The new Safeguarding Children e-learning course available in April 2021 for coaches/managers.
Note: You can access both the above courses here.
‘Providing a positive welcome to your club’ which you can read here (.pdf 1.77mb). This resource supports you to:
- Review what information you currently make available to your members, particularly parents/carers and new members; and
- Reflect on how accessible this information is.
Further safeguarding information available on TheFA.com
Contact details for your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer
For parents/carers connected to youth teams
We have three requests in relation to parents/carers connected to youth teams:
- Please ensure they have the current contact details for your Club Welfare Officer and are clear about how to report concerns or seek help.
- Make your Safeguarding Policy readily available.
- Please again share the parent/carer film Let’s talk about keeping children safe in football. This will help parents/carers understand their responsibilities, be aware of the safeguards clubs have in place and what collective responsibility really means.
For those working with 16/17-year-old players
For those of you working with open-age teams that have 16/17-year-old players please ensure you have:
- Adopted FA Safeguarding Children Policy (Adult Teams with U18 players)
- Identified which teams have 16/17-year-old players.
- Identified 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 team. 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).
- Supported coaches/managers (including assistant coaches/managers) and medics working with 16/17-year-olds to complete an FA DBS Check.
(You need to view section 3 and download Guidance Notes: 3.1 Safer recruitment of volunteers, 3.5 Eligibility of roles and 3.7 DBS FAQs).
- Provided 16/17-year-old players with safeguarding information.
(You need to view section 7: and download Guidance Notes: 7.1 Know your rights in football)
- Encouraged club officials to complete the free FA online Safeguarding For All training for volunteers and helpers.
The club have adopted the following policies and procedures (you can click the buttons to access them) which are relevant to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults:
Child Safeguarding Policy (.pdf 198kb)
Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy (.pdf 195kb)
Club Code of Conduct Policy (.pdf 147kb)
Complaints Procedure (.pdf 186kb)
Photography and Video Policy (.pdf 180kb)
Requirements and Training for People Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults
Under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004, it is a legal requirement that the club adopt a Child Safeguarding Policy which stipulates that all persons working with children must hold a valid Enhanced DBS (including Barring Lists).
As part of the club's FA Charter Standard Accreditation, there must be at least one coach per team present at all times who possess (or is currently undertaking) the following qualifications:
- FA Safeguarding Children Qualification (in date - must be renewed every 3 years).
- FA Introduction to First Aid in Football (or higher, in date - must be renewed every 3 years).
- Enhanced DBS (including Child Barring Lists and completed via the Club Welfare Officer, must be renewed every 3 years).
- Free online Playmaker course
A new coach or helper must complete an enhanced DBS check and the free online Playmaker Course before assisting or taking part in any coaching with children.
Coaches and the club committee are all responsible for ensuring that safeguarding policies and procedures are adhered to at all times.
Everybody has a duty to protect children and vulnerable adults, including reporting as soon as possible any concerns you may have - do not turn a blind eye!
Club Safeguarding Team
Sallie Lavis (Club Welfare Officer)
Completed the FA Welfare Officer Workshop training & Mental Health First Aider qualification
Completed the FA Welfare Officer Workshop training
Completed Mental Health First Aider qualification
Completed Mental Health Aware qualification
Obtaining an Enhanced DBS Certificate
Enhanced DBS Checks are initiated by the Club Safeguarding Team. If you are wanting to become a coach or assistant, you must be willing to proceed with the Enhanced DBS check to obtain a certificate to allow you to work with children and/or adults at risk.
- Contact the Club Welfare Officer (email@example.com) and provide your full name, address, date of birth and FAN number if known.
- The club will set you up on the FA Whole Game System to complete your Enhanced DBS application. You need to be able to log in to the FA Whole Game System. Your email address associated with your FA Whole Game System account should be already linked so if you don't know your password or it is the first time logging in to the system, you can request a password reset. If you have any issues, contact the Club Welfare Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- When you log in to your FA Whole Game System account, you will see a button called "My DBS" on the left hand menu. Select this and follow the on screen instructions.
- Once the online application stage is completed, you will be required to complete an ID verification. You must arrange a visit by the Club Welfare Officer (email@example.com) to verify your identity and documents.
- After ID verification, your Enhanced DBS application is submitted. You will receive an email to inform you and also provide you with a tracking link.
- Your application normally is completed within 7 days and a certificate posted to your home address. In some cases you may be asked to send your certificate to a safeguarding authority for an assessment - delaying this will delay your application being approved by the FA. A criminal record or conviction does not automatically disqualify a potential coach or assistant however each application is carefully considered on its own merit and is not determined by the club.
- Once your Enhanced DBS certificate is accepted by the FA, your FA account will be updated accordingly. Your Enhanced DBS Certificate must be renewed every 3 years.
More About Us
Find out more about Abbeymead Rovers FC, from our History and Facilities to Club Document downloads.