Somerset FA

Let's make football safe, not sorry.

Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility – including Somerset FA as the game’s governing body in the county.

Creating fun, safe football environments is central to safeguarding children.

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:

• Getting the right people involved - seeking references and CRC checks.
• Creating a safe environment - codes of conduct, education and best practice.
• Promoting clear systems - to deal with any concerns - policy and procedures.

We now have a designated volunteer workforce of Welfare Officers who promote and oversee best practice in Safeguarding Children. All Clubs with youth sections and youth leagues are required by The FA to have an appointed Club or Youth League Welfare Officer. The Club or Youth League Welfare Officer is in place to improve practices at the Club and be the first point of contact for any concerns relating to children or vulnerable adults.

For further information please contact Somerset FA County Welfare Officer Shirley Needham on 01458 832359 or Shirley.Needham@SomersetFA.com.