Respond, Record, Report

Respond, Record, Report

Respond, Record, Report

The Football Association of Wales takes its legal and moral duty to protect and safeguarding children very seriously. To assist us to undertake our duty we have developed procedures to enable all individuals to respond, record and report any concerns they may have with regards to the welfare of a child at their club or under their care.



All concerns, suspicions, allegations and disclosures must be taken seriously. Even if the incident occurs outside football but concerns a child/adult involved in football, this should still be reported to the FAW.

Concerns, suspicions, allegations, and disclosures come from two main sources:

  • A child approaches you with information relating to an individual’s behaviour towards themselves or their friend.
  • You become aware of an individual through first-hand knowledge or a third party (for example through conversation with another adult/child; through direct observations or signs or indicators that suggest abuse; or anonymous tip-off)

The NSPCC have provided three simple directions to remember when a child is making a disclosure:

  1. Show you care and help them open up- Give them your full attention and keep your body language open and encouraging. be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them their feelings are important. Phrases like "you've shown such courage today" help. 
  2. Take your time, slow down- respect pauses and don't interrupt them- let them go at their own pace. recognise and respond to their body language. And remember that it may take several conversations for them to share what has happened to them
  3. Show you understand, reflect back- make it clear you are interested in what they are telling you. Reflect back what they've said to check your understanding and use their language to show its their experience.

Its important to show and young people that whatever they want to share, you're ready to listen. It takes courage to come forward and the way in which you respond wii likely determine if the individual is willing to open up further. 

If you are receiving information relating to a concern, allegation, suspicion or disclosure must not:

  • Allow your shock or distaste to show
  • Panic
  • Probe for more information than is offered
  • Speculate or make assumptions
  • Make negative comments about the alleged abuser
  • Approach the alleged abuser
  • Make promises or agree to keep secrets



It’s important to record information as soon as possible and as accurately as possible. Information that needs to be passed to the Safeguarding Officer, FAW, Social Services or the Police must be as helpful as possible, hence the necessity for making a detailed record at the time of the concern, suspicion or disclosure.

Information should include the following:

  • The nature of the allegations
  • A description of any visible bruising or other injuries
  • The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries have occurred
  • Witnesses to the incident(s)
  • Any times, dates or other relevant information
  • A clear distinction between what is fact, opinion, or hearsay

Please make use of the SG1 Safeguarding Incident Referral Form or Accident/Incident Reporting Form (please see below).

Reporting the matter to the club Safeguarding Officer, FAW, police or Social Services department should not be delayed by attempts to obtain more information. Wherever possible, referrals telephoned to the Social Services department should be confirmed in writing.



Everyone has an obligation to report any concerns, suspicions, allegations, or disclosures relating to any child or adult involved in association football in Wales. The FAW also recognises that false concerns, allegations, suspicions, or disclosures can be made. However, they are rare, and a robust complaints/disciplinary procedure will always address these.

It is not the responsibility of anyone working under the auspices of the FAW in a paid or voluntary capacity, or those working in affiliated organisations, to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse of the abuse of trust is taking place. However, there is a responsibility to protect children in order that appropriate agencies can make enquiries and take the necessary action to protect them.

If you have concerns of abuse, or you have been made aware of concerns of abuse, please take/ensure your members take the following action:

  • If you believe a child is in danger, please call 999 and ensure the child is safe.
  • If the child needs medical treatment, take the child to hospital or phone an ambulance. Inform the doctors of your concerns.
  • Inform the parents/guardian immediately, unless you have a specific reason not to do so.
  • Contact the police (who have a dedicated child protection team) or social services who will advise whether a formal referral is needed. 
  • Follow their advice regarding next steps
  • Report your concern to the FAW Safeguarding Team via SG1 form. Ensure you record all relevant details, including the name and contact details of the person you have spoken to Social Services/Police. The FAW may need to speak to these persons at a later date. 

The FAW Safeguarding Team are then responsible for liasing with the police or Social Services and also carrying out an investigation and ensuring the necessary safeguards are put in place. The case will also be referred to our Safeguarding Panel. 

For low level concerns such as a concern regarding poor practice, in the first instance, we ask that this is submitted in writing to the Club Safeguarding Officer and the committee to enable them to investigate the matter further.  The following details should be provided:

  • What, when and where it took place
  • Any witnesses and the relevant contact details
  • If any former complaints have been made and to whom they were made
  • Expectations as to the preferred solution for the matter

The Accident/Incident Reporting Form will ensure the necessary details are provided.

A club should request any necessary further information in writing and offer parties the chance to attend a Personal Hearing and appoint a panel for this. 

The Panel could reach a variety of outcomes, including but not limited to:

  • No further action
  • Order to complete further training
  • Verbal warning
  • Written warning
  • Exclusion from a prescribed number of matches
  • Exclusion from a prescribed number of training sessions
  • Removal from team for a prescribed time
  • Refusal of re-registration

Following the decision, the decision  of the Club should be communicated in writing to all relevant parties. Parties should be offered the Right of Appeal to the decision in writing to the junior league. 

What behaviour constitutes Poor Practice or Abuse?

Abuse is defined as the following 5 catergories: Physical, Sexual, Neglect, Emotional or Bullying. 

Poor Practice relates to when the needs of children are not given priority, thus compromising their welfare. These can include excessive training, continuous preferental treatment, allowing concerning practice to go unnoticed, ridiculing children for making mistakes, ignorning health & safety guidelines, failing to adhere to codes of conduct, placing children in uncomfortable and vulnerable situations with adults.

It is vital that all concerns or suspicions of poor practice are recorded and reported, as we may only be able to distinguish between poor practice and abuse after collation of relevant information. 

On occasions the nominated Safeguarding Officer may be informed of situations where there is uncertainty about whether the allegation constitutes abuse or not and therefore is unclear about what action to take. There may be circumstances where allegations are about poor practice rather than abuse but those responsible should always consult senior colleague and gain advice from Social Services, Police and the NSPCC (Help Line number: 0808 800 5000) if there is any doubt. This is because it may be just one of a series of instances which together cause concern. Alternatively please contact a member of the FAW Safeguarding Team. 

The Police also have specially trained child protection teams who will give guidance and support, and deal with out of office enquiries when Social Services are not available.


Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now