The following guidance is provided not as an obstacle but to support clubs and leagues to manage their safeguarding responsibilities effectively. It aims to ensure children, young people, coaches, referees and adults in a position of trust are not subjected to improper communications or improper allegations.

Written informed consent needs to be obtained from parents/carers before group email or texts are used to communicate with U18s.


• get signed consent from parents/carers before using either of these methods of communication with children or young people

• explain to parents/carers and club members the purpose and method for coaches, team managers, referee mentors, club officials etc to communicate by either text, email or both with their son/daughter

• only use group texts or emails and always copy in the parent/carer or the designated member of the club to all communications with young people

• make sure texts or emails are only in relation to specific club related activities e.g. informing young people about changes in travel arrangements, training times or venue changes etc

• report to the club welfare officer any instance(s) where you have received any inappropriate communications from a young person. The club welfare officer will then agree what action the club will take, notifying parents/carers and any other appropriate individuals or agencies Don’t

• use text or emails for personal conversation, sending pictures, jokes or other items of a personal nature

• respond to emails from young people other than those directly related to club matters. Advise your club welfare officer of any non club related emails you receive

• use language that is directly (or could be misinterpreted as being) racist, sexist, derogatory, threatening, abusive or sexualised in tone.



We would ask that you as a parent/carer to be aware of the following best practice promoted within football:

• Ensure you are aware of how coaches, managers and other members of the club or league should communicate with your son/daughter

• Show an interest in the communications between the club, you and your son or daughter. Open communication about club and league activities/issues often mean concerns are picked up early and issues can be resolved easily

• Familiarise yourself with The FAs guidance for clubs in relation to websites, text messaging and social networking sites

• Familiarise yourself with the social networking sites your child is using. Did you know children U13 are not supposed to use facebook? 13-17 year olds are given different ‘set up’ security features within facebook so please ensure that they are set up correctly using their real DOB and haven’t bypassed this

• If you are not getting copied into club/team text messages or emails raise this with the club and ask that you are added into these communications immediately

• Know who your club welfare officer is and how to contact them if you have any concerns about the content of club/league web pages or in relation to the welfare of your son/daughter

• Ensure you tell your child to tell someone they trust about communications that make them feel uncomfortable or where they’ve been asked not to tell their parent/carer about the communication

• Remember as a member of a club you are responsible for and need to abide by club protocol/policy and FA Rules and Regulations regarding comments that you place online about the league, club, players, managers and/or match officials

• Look at the guidance offered by the Child Exploitation Online Protection (CEOP) centre; they provide guidance for parents/ carers, children and young people. They also provide the most up to date guidance for online environments

• The FA Respect Codes of Conduct give guidance on appropriate behaviour which can be related equally to match day, training and online environments

• Follow the guidance given by the Government’s ‘Click Clever Click Safe’ campaign; ZIP IT – BLOCK IT – FLAG IT. This simple 3 point guidance provides an everyday reminder of good behaviour that will help keep young people safe online

• If your son or daughter receives images or messages which are offensive, threatening, or unsuitable please copy and save then elsewhere or print them off before removing or destroying them. They may be needed as evidence by the Club Welfare Officer or other agencies involved in the protection of children online

• If you have serious online concerns for the welfare of your son or daughter report it directly to CEOP using the report button below and speak to the club welfare officer as soon as possible Look at the guidance offered by CEOP.


They provide guidance for parents/carers, children and young people on how to stay safe online.