Football Coach with Youth Players

Safeguarding and Welfare

Keeping football safe and enjoyable

Let's make football safe, not sorry

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Non-action is not an option

Ensuring the safety of young people and vulnerable adults involved in the game of football is a fundamental aspect of our role as governing body, but it is something that we cannot do alone.

Most children and young people have a positive experience playing the game - but sadly, some don't. This is why we all need to be vigilant to ensure our leagues and clubs are places where unacceptable behaviours are challenged and children supported.

The ongoing work to make the game as safe and enjoyable as possible is led by The FA, the game’s governing body in England. This work is delivered locally through County FAs such as ourselves, in conjunction with leagues and clubs.

There are three pillars on which The FA’s safeguarding strategy is built:

  • People - safer recruitment and thorough Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks
  • Raising awareness - extensive and appropriate safeguarding education and best practice guidance
  • Dealing with concerns - making it easy to report concerns and investigating swiftly and thoroughly

In addition to having our own Designated Safeguarding Officer here at Hertfordshire FA, there is a volunteer workforce across the grassroots game who oversee activity in their organisations and promote best practice in safeguarding.

Every club with a youth section and all youth leagues are required to have a Welfare Officer. Should you have any concerns relating to safeguarding children, one of these should be your first point of contact.

If you would like to learn more about football's safeguarding framework, you can visit The FA Website or use the signposts below to find further information and resources.

Safeguarding AT HERtfordshire fa

Get in Touch

If you have a question about safeguarding in football or want to report a concern, please contact Gemma Chaffey, our Designated Safeguarding Officer. 

For queries relating to getting a DBS check completed, please refer to this guidance first.

01462 650215 / 07538 990836

Our normal office hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm

Outside of office hours you can leave a message and we will get back to you

If your query is urgent and our team aren't available, you can find details of other relevant agencies in the 'Reporting a Concern' section below

If a child or young person is in immediate danger, ALWAYS call 999

How to play your part

Let's Talk About Keeping Children Safe in Football

Everyone with a child involved in the game should be clear about safeguarding. Watch this video to find out more about how you can play your part in keeping football safe.

Guidance for Parents and Carers

Safeguarding in Football Video

Reporting A Concern

Don't wait for someone else to do something about it

A child or young person may inform you directly that they are concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them or you may become aware, through your own observations or through a third party, of possible abuse occurring.

There are five ways to report a concern:

  • To your Club Welfare Officer – please find out from your club who they are;
  • To your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer via or by calling 01462 650215 / 07538 990836;
  • By emailing The FA Safeguarding Team at or by calling and asking for the team on 0800 169 1863;
  • If urgent and you cannot contact your club, league or County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, you should call the NSPCC 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000;
  • If it is an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the Police using 999 or Hertfordshire Children’s Social Care on 0300 123 4043

If a child or young person is in immediate danger, ALWAYS call 999.

If you are concerned that someone may be behaving inappropriately, or is seeking to groom a child in an online environment, then please use the CEOP reporting button that will take you directly to the team at the National Crime Agency. You should also inform our Designated Safeguarding Officer via


Whistle-blowing in a safeguarding context means revealing and raising concerns over misconduct or malpractice within an organisation, or within an independent structure associated with it.

It can be used as an early-warning system or when it’s recognised that appropriate actions have not been taken.

If you have reported a concern and are not satisfied with the manner in which it has been handled, don’t leave it at that. You should escalate this by raising it with one of the other organisations listed here.

If in doubt, don’t hesitate – escalate

Safeguarding Requirements Youth Football

What Qualifications Are Required?

Working together we can create a positive environment where children and young people are protected from harm. An essential element of this is ensuring all involved are appropriately qualified for the role they are carrying out.

This document lists the requirements for different roles across grassroots football in the 2024/25 season.

Download Guidance

Youth Zone

Supporting Young People in Football

If we are to build a bright future for football in our county, we need to ensure the voice of young players, coaches, referees and volunteers are heard. At Hertfordshire FA we are committed to helping children have the best possible experience in football.

To help with this we have pulled together a range of information, guidance and resources for young people, along with a survey you can complete to tell us what you think about the game.

Youth ZONE

Play Your Part - Play Safe HFA Play Safe