Just Play

Safeguarding for Children and Young People

It is important that children and young people have an awareness of safeguarding in football, the rights they have, and how to report any concerns they may have.

The Facts:

  • A child is someone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. Once they turn 18, they are legally an adult.
  • The FA, County Associations and football clubs should always ask parents/carers if it’s ok for their children to get involved in football activity.
  • 16-17 year olds will usually be asked to make their own decision about getting involved (self-consent). In some exceptional circumstances parents/carers may also be asked. 

Children have the right:

  • To feel safe both online and offline;
  • To healthy relationships and appropriate boundaries;
  • Not to be bullied, harassed or intimidated;
  • Not to feel uncomfortable or unsafe;
  • Not to be discriminated against because of your age, gender, gender reassignment, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status or civil partnership, faith, ability or disability, pregnancy and maternity. 

The UK signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. The Convention sets out the rights of every child in the world to: survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. It sets standards for education, healthcare, social services and penal laws. It also establishes the right of children to have a say in decisions that affect them.

Involving children and young people in making decisions that affect them is important.

The FA has a National Youth Council which aims to provide a voice for all children and young people to influence change and develop a lasting legacy in football.

Guernsey FA has a Youth Council and to find out more please contact Joelle Pengelley; Joelle.pengelley@guernseyfa.com

Online Safety

In today’s world, safeguarding children and young people applies as much online as it does face-to-face. Part of the role of The FA as the game’s governing body, and the Guernsey FA locally, is to offer guidance across many areas relating to safeguarding in football.

Guernsey FA Chief Executive Officer and Senior Safeguarding Lead, Gary Roberts, commented:

“The Guernsey FA works tirelessly to monitor safeguarding in local football and to support local clubs in ensuring volunteers have the relevant training and qualifications. However, it is important to remember that parents and guardians also have an important role to play in creating a safe and enjoyable environment for young people to enjoy football, but also to have in having an understanding of what should be expected by local clubs in safeguarding their children. This is particularly important in relation to social media and communications with children and young people and the FA has produced guidance that extends to the use of digital platforms in a football context. It is imperative that everyone involved in the game makes informed decisions about how they use the internet, social media, mobile phone and email communications – particularly when children and young people are involved.”

“It is recognised that there are many benefits for children and young people when using social media and online communication systems, including connecting with friends and family, enabling innovative ways of learning and creating new ways for them to express themselves. This also applies to learning and developing in football with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in an increased use of online training and coaching demonstrations for children and young people to follow. However, we must remain mindful that there are also risks associated with social media and online communications and that is why the FA has produced guidance.”

The FA is constantly looking to provide  a supportive framework around everyone who participates in football, whatever their role and this guidance includes the use of digital platforms such as websites, email, mobile messaging and use of social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. These technologies have huge benefits because it is so much easier nowadays for a team or club to let its players know the times of training sessions, meet-ups and match venues. However, it is also important and necessary to recognise that digital platforms can be misused, with increased risks to children and young people.