Safeguarding Coaching Strategy Board

Safeguarding in Somerset

Somerset FA offers 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.

Forthcoming safeguarding courses and workshops

We provide Safeguarding Children courses and Welfare Officer Workshops to support clubs and volunteers across the county fulfill their safeguarding commitments. 

Get In Touch

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Shirley Needham

Office: 01458 837 034

Mobile: 07535 664 988

obtaining a criminal record check (crc)

It is a mandatory regulation that anyone 16 years plus that is working with children and vulnerable adults in football, whether paid or voluntary, on a regular basis must undertake an FA Criminal Record Check (formally CRB).

If you are teaching, training, supervising, instructing, giving advice or guidance, treating or caring for children or vulnerable adults or driving for the club and you do this once a week or more, intensively on 4 or more days in a 30 day period or overnight, this will usually mean coaches, managers, Club Welfare Officers, first aiders, referees, regular club drivers – you need to undertake an FA CRC.

Failure to comply can lead to a suspension from all youth football and football activity for non-compliance.

Online applications

Club Welfare Officers are now able to complete The FA CRC process online at a cost of only £10 if you are a volunteer or £54 for non-volunteers. This is a secure, simple and faster process for undertaking the FA CRC, checks are usually completed within a week of submission. Please contact your Club Welfare Officer for login details to access this service.

If you are a Club Welfare Officer and would like to register to use this service, please send an email to – you will receive a Club Registration Form which you will need to complete and return to Once this is received access to the online service will be created for your club. You will receive two emails – one will confirm your personal login details needed to activate your account as a verifier, the other will provide all the information you require to check your club members. Please note these details are unique to your club registration and should be retained for future reference. Once your club has been registered you will receive an FA CRC Online Club Guidance email confirming your club access details with an FA CRC Online Club Applicant Guidance attachment detailing application instructions for your club members. 

Watch our handy CRC Video Guidance below:


Handling Reported concerns

Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility. If you are worried about a child it is important that you report your concerns - no action is not an option.

1. If you are worried about a child then you need to report your concerns to the Club Welfare Officer.

2. If the issue is one of poor practice they will either:

•Deal with the matter themselves or 
•Seek advice from the County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer 

3. If the concern is more serious - possible child abuse - where possible contact the County FA Welfare Officer first, then immediately contact the Police or Children's Services.

4. If the child needs immediate medical treatment take them to a hospital or call an ambulance and tell them this is a child protection concern. Let your Club Welfare Officer know what action you have taken.

5. If at any time you are not able to contact your Club Welfare Officer or the matter is serious then you can either:

•Contact your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer
•Call The FA/NSPCC 24 hour Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000 or you can text the NSPCC on 88858
•Contact the Police or Children's Services

If you are a Youth League Welfare Officer then please report your concerns directly to your Somerset FA County Welfare Officer or follow the advice given in point 5 above.

Become a club welfare officer

All leagues and clubs with youth teams must have a named Welfare Officer, who has an 'accepted' FA Criminal Record Check (CRC) via The FA Disclosure Unit and who has completed The FA Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officer Workshop.

RESPECT is The Football Association's direct response to a clear message from the grassroots game. We must improve standards of behaviour - on and off the field. Parental behaviour is one of the main reasons why young players drop out of the game. Poor behaviour by coaches, parents and players towards referees means that thousands of officials are dropping out each season.

RESPECT is aimed at helping us all to work together to change the negative attitudes and unacceptable behaviour on the sidelines and on the pitch. It's a long-term commitment. As a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) you have the chance to make a significant contribution to creating positive change.

RESPECT outlines for everyone from league official to player to parent to club official to coach and referee that a certain standard of organisation and behaviour is expected in football. RESPECT is all about creating a fun, safe environment and its core principles work in tandem with Safeguarding Children.

The role of the CWO is key to ensuring that Respect is understood and taken on board by the committee, coaches/managers members and supporters. 

In order to assist you with this role we have provided some useful information in the 'Documents' section below on: 

•The role of the CWO
•Help and support for you 
•Making sure everyone knows who you are  
•Training requirements for this role