Play Safe

Parents and Carers

Play Safe is being run in partnership with the NSPCC and has the full backing of the Premier League, EFL, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship. It’s also supported by every County FA and is being run across all grassroots leagues and clubs. 


It launched in November 2021 as a national campaign to focus attention on the vital importance of safeguarding in football, and will run on a designated weekend every season.

Play Safe emphasises the importance of having safeguarding embedded in all we do. It creates a culture of ensuring parents/carers and children themselves know what to do if they feel unsafe or worried, because nothing matters more than making sure football is safe for everyone, especially children and young people.

Play Safe and National Safeguarding Weekend will take place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September 2022.

We are also encouraging parents/carers with a child in football to: - 

  • Ensure you know who your child’s coach/manager is, how they will communicate with you, how you can contact them and how to get feedback on your child - ask if they are FA DBS checked and safeguarding trained. 
  • Put the NSPCC Helpline and CWO name and contact details in your phone/notebook - ensure you and your child understand the Club Welfare Officers role 
  • Be clear about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour at your child’s club - sign up and adhere to their codes of conduct 
  • Ask your child what they enjoy about playing - and remember this when supporting them 
  • Agree with your child how you will support/check-in to see how they are doing 
  • Ensure your child understands their rights - find out more 
  • Ensure you and your child know how to report a concern - find out more 
  • Encourage your child to speak to you about anything that worries them, no matter how big or small the problem please listen and act where necessary

The FA have designed a Safeguarding training course specifically for parents and carers.

take the course 

Safeguarding Children in Football


Watch this video, which explains more about safeguarding for parents/carers.


What you can expect parent and how to play your part in safeguarding your child.
Everyone involved in football has a part to play in ensuring children can play in a safe and enjoyable environment. County FA's, club committees, designated safeguarding officers, coaches, medics, referees, and parents/carers – all are key to ensuring football has effective safeguards in place.

What can parents expect?
All affiliated clubs must have a Safeguarding Children Policy and a Club Welfare Officer (CWO) who has been DBS-checked and safeguarding-trained. The Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and CWO must have completed our free ‘Safeguarding for Committee Members’ course. All coaches must be named against the team they're involved with on our system, must be DBS-checked and safeguarding-trained.

What can parents do?
Firstly, it’s important to know who’s helping your child play football, understanding what’s expected of your child and in turn how you and their coaches are expected to behave. A well-run club will be happy to share how they organise things, so go ahead and ask, check out the club’s website and social media pages (if they have them) as these will also give you some insights to the club.

You might be offered parent/carer and or player ‘welcome packs’, player ‘taster sessions and pre-season parent/care meetings. All are helpful in getting to know exactly what’s on offer.

Click here for a guide of the questions you should ask before you register your child with a club.

What if I have a safeguarding concern?
If you're worried about a child, it’s vital you report your concerns. There are five ways to do this:

  • To your club or league welfare officer (usually referred to as the club welfare officer in grassroots football)
  • To your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer.  The Amateur FA DSO can be contacted on
  • By emailing The FA Safeguarding Team at
  • If urgent and you cannot contact your club, league or County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline for expert advice and support on 0808 800 5000 or
  • If it's an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the Police (999) or Children’s Social Care / MASH Team in your area

If you’d like to find out more about what happens when you report a concern or to access The FA Referral Form please visit Section 2 and refer to Guidance Notes 2.1: How to Report Safeguarding Concerns and Guidance Notes 2.2: Safeguarding Referral Form – Affiliated Football.

You have a right and a responsibility to ensure that your children are always safe.

This short video shows how you can encourage those to speak out in respect of safeguarding.