It is imperative that open age clubs understand their responsibilities for safeguarding 16 and 17 year olds players.
If your club has an adult team that has Under-18s that are registered at any time during the season, you are responsible for ensuring that the safeguarding measures are in place.
This will require all coaches/managers/medics that are working with Under-18s in adult football to complete an FA DBS Check and have knowledge of the FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy.
Collectively it is important that we ensure all players aged 16 and 17 that play in adult football are clear about what to do if they have a concern. The FA have provided some guidance for players of that age.
From season 2023-24, the following measures apply to Open Age Clubs:
- Must have a named Club Welfare Officer – This individual does not to be qualified at this stage
- Must have a Safeguarding Policy
- Must signpost all 16/17 years old to the ‘know your rights’ information
Below are some links and documents to support you in implementing the safeguarding requirements in adult football:
FA Safeguarding Children Policy
Safeguarding Adults in Disability Football
Further guidance and support will be sent to Club Secretaries during the affiliation period. Paul Ratcliffe (Designated Safeguarding Officer) and Gemma Webster (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Offer) will provide targeted support to clubs to ensure full compliance prior to the start of the season.