Parent and Guardian Guidance
MAKING SURE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE.
Everyone involved in football should promote the highest-possible standards of behaviour, so we can pass our great game on in good shape to future generations.
This applies as much to parents/guardians as anyone else. No doubt we’ve all heard - and perhaps seen - over-zealous parents behaving badly at children’s matches. Sometimes unwittingly, they can create a climate of intimidation that stops children wanting to play.
Ensuring parents/guardians behave appropriately at youth team matches is codified into ‘Respect’, an ongoing FA drive to improve everyone’s standards of behaviour. In fact, there’s a code of conduct for parents/guardians which you will be asked to sign up to if you have a child playing for a youth team.
Here’s a link to the Respect Programme to it so you’re aware of what it covers - and the actions which can be taken against transgressors.
Equally, apart from parents/guardians behaving responsibly themselves, you may also witness inappropriate or threatening behaviour from a fellow adult towards a child or young person. It can be difficult to confront this, so football has set up various confidential ways you can report your concerns.
Watch the video below to find out more how to safeguard children in football.
In addition, as well all know, today’s younger generation are actively engaged in the digital world. This could be by visiting websites, engaging in social media, or receiving texts and/or emails. As a parent/guardian you should be aware of how your child(ren) are being contacted by their club via digital media - and the general guidance that surrounds young people’s use of social networking sites.
To further extend your knowledge of safeguarding, please take the free FA 'Safeguarding For All' training, which you can find here.
Ultimately, we want to make the game as safe and enjoyable as possible for everyone - and that’s where we can all play a part.
To read more about keeping children safe in sport, head to the CPSU website.
Speaking out in sport
This short animation from the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) can help parents understand their role in safeguarding children in sport and the kind of support available to parents if they need to speak out about any worries they might have.