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For some years the Football Association of Wales has had a child protection awareness policy and code of conduct for its coaches.  In it we said:

“the welfare of the child is paramount and all children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity have a right to be protected from abuse.”

We recognised that the FAW had a responsibility to:

· Safeguard and promote the interests and wellbeing of children with whom we are working.
· Take all reasonable practical steps to protect them from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment.
· Respect their rights, wishes and feelings.

Now as part of the FAW’s commitment to providing good quality football training in a safe environment we are going further and have extended our Policy and Procedures to cover everyone taking part in the sport of football in Wales.

And by everyone, we mean everyone; from our paid or voluntary coaches, referees, chaperones and office staff to the children and adults at risk playing football.

Under our Welfare Regulations:

  • it is a condition of affiliation that existing and future clubs, leagues, centres and squads have to agree to abide by the FAW Welfare Policy and Procedures applicable to them;
  • we are extending the Code of Conduct to anyone within the FAW who works in a ‘regulated position’ (*) with children, within a relationship of trust or with adults at risk;
  • we will not knowingly allow anyone who has been disqualified from working with children or adults at risk to work in any regulated position or with adults at risk within the FAW; and
  • we have made persistent breach of the Code or Welfare Regulations a Disciplinary Offence under the FAW’s Disciplinary Rules.

The changes made are intended to make it clear to everyone inside and outside the FAW that it is not prepared to allow anyone to use the FAW structure or organised activities for their own illegal or selfish reasons.

Any reports of abuse, if made through the prescribed FAW procedures, will be taken seriously and acted upon immediately under the powers given to the Chief Executive Officer in this Regulation, and the FAW will support anyone using these procedures who in good faith, reports any suspicions that a colleague is deliberately breaching any Code or Welfare Procedure. 

The Football Association of Wales has introduced this Welfare Policy as a clear sign that it is determined that everyone involved in football, including children, young people and ‘adults at risk’ (**), can participate at all levels in a safe and supportive environment. The Policy establishes the Football Association of Wales’ position, roles and responsibilities and together with the Policy for Preventing Abuse of Trust and Welfare Procedures and Practices (available at, clarifies what is expected of other individuals and organisations involved in football.


  • The FAW is fully committed to the principles of the equality of opportunity.
  • No participant, volunteer, job applicant or employee will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of, age, disability, gender reassignment, parental or marital status, race,  religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or social class than any other.
  • The FAW will ensure that there is open access for all those who wish to participate in the sport, in whatever capacity and that they are treated fairly.
  • The FAW recognises its legal obligations not to discriminate.
  • The FAW will regard discrimination by any employee, participant or volunteer as grounds for disciplinary action.



The FAW recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children, young people and adults at risk who are attracted to and participate in football. As part of the FAW’s commitment to providing good quality football in a safe environment, the Child Protection Policy and Procedures and Football Code of Conduct have been extended to cover everyone (paid and unpaid staff, volunteers, coaches, officials and players) taking part in the sport of football.


  • To establish an effective system to ensure that all children, young people and adults at risk are able to enjoy football in as safe environment as possible.
  • To ensure that everyone involved in football in Wales, in whatever capacity, is trained in protecting the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk.
  • To ensure that all involved are aware of their responsibilities in the protection of children, young people and adults at risk.
  • To ensure all involved in football are aware of the procedures relating to the protection of children, young people and adults at risk.
  • To promote high standards of behaviour by all those involved in all aspects of football.
  • To ensure everyone who enjoys football in Wales is protected from harassment and abuse.


The key principles underpinning this Welfare Policy are that:

  • The welfare of children, young people (the Children’s Act 1989 defines a young person as under 18 years of age) and adults at risk is the primary concern.
  • All children, young people and adults at risk, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender reassignment, language, marital or parental status, race, religion or belief, ex or sexual orientation identity have the right to protection from abuse.
  • All incidents of possible poor practice and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
  • Confidentiality of all parties should be respected within the bounds of the law.
  • It is the responsibility of the Child Protection experts to determine whether or not abuse has taken place, but it is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns.
  • All forms of abuse, misconduct and harassment are prohibited.


In order to ensure that all members, officials, voluntary or paid workers, players and participants are protected from abuse, exploitation, harassment and harm, inside or outside of the Association, the FAW will:

  • Accept the moral and legal responsibility to implement procedures to provide a duty of care to children, young people and adults at risk, safeguard their wellbeing and protect them from abuse.
  • Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children, young people and adults at risk.
  • Recruit, train and supervise its employees and volunteers to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children, young people and adults at risk from abuse, and themselves  In line with safe working practices.
  • Require staff /volunteers to adopt and abide by the FAW’s Code of Conduct, best practice, the FAW’s Safeguarding Policies, Practices and Procedures and Welfare Policy and Procedures.
  • Respond to any allegations appropriately and implement the appropriate safeguarding measures and disciplinary and appeals procedures.
  • Require that all coaches, officials and volunteers be aware of the potential for the development of a relationship of trust between themselves and young people, adults at risk or women in football and the consequences inherent in the accidental or intentional abuse of that relationship.
  • Require that coaches demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times and encourage children, young people and adults at risk to display the same qualities.
  • Ensure that all aspects of the Welfare Policy will be fully resourced.
  • Support the rights and interests of all those involved in football in a voluntary or paid position.


The FAW, through confirming this Welfare Policy has indicated its determination to ensure that everyone involved in all forms of football activity in Wales can do so with their safety and fair treatment being of paramount importance. It is essential that this Policy be read in conjunction with the Policy for Preventing the Abuse of Trust and Welfare Procedures and Practice (available at All adults involved in football activities should promote good practice and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities to safeguard the well-being of children, young people and adults at risk.



*     As defined in Part II Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

**  An ‘adult at risk’ is someone aged 18 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation. A ‘vulnerable person’ is any adult at risk or the weaker party in a relationship of trust.

First Published

08 September 2020

Last Updated

03 November 2022

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