New safeguarding requirements for 16 and 17 year olds in adult football

New safeguarding requirements for 16 and 17 year olds in adult football

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As we enter the month of June, we continue to press ahead with plans for next season and bring our clubs up to date with upcoming changes to the footballing landscape ahead in 2020/21.

As has been publicised for a few months now, the FA are bringing adult football into scope for the safeguarding of 16 and 17 year olds taking part in open-age football. Up until now, players of that age have been able to register and participate in open-age football with a very limited focus on safeguarding but this will all change in 2020/21.

It will become a requirement for all clubs who will be registering players aged 16 and 17, or indeed just allowing them to train with the club, to undertake the following actions:

  • Adopt and implement a safeguarding children policy (templates available)
  • Organise DBS checks for all coaches, managers, medics or first-aiders who will be involved with teams which include 16/17 year olds
  • Distribute FA guidance to 16/17 year olds

If you believe there is a possibility of your club signing players within this age bracket, it would be prudent for you to spend some time watching the webinar recently released by Essex County FA which talks you through the changes coming in. This can be found on YouTube:

At this present time the cost of a DBS check with the FA is £10 per person and the check is valid for a period of three years. Checks are currently suspended however during the period of the pandemic so this will inevitably create a bottle neck as we approach a possible resumption in football in the coming weeks.

For any queries regarding this, please get in touch with Helen Hever or Chloe Hookins at Essex County FA who will be able to provide most specific information. Their contact details are available on the ECFA website.

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