Stalbridge Youth FC

Stalbridge Youth FC - Guide - Text/Online/Social Media




In today’s world, safeguarding children and young people applies as much online as it does face-to-face.

Part of the role of The FA as the game’s governing body is to offer guidance. They’re constantly looking to provide a supportive framework around everyone who participates in football, whatever their role.

This guidance role clearly extends to the use of digital platforms in a football context. Such platforms include websites, email, mobile messaging and use of social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Of course, these technologies have huge benefits. For example, it’s so much easier nowadays for a team or club to let its players know the times of training sessions, meet-ups and match venues. However, we have to recognise that digital platforms can be misused, with increased risks to children and young people.

Football takes these risks extremely seriously. It’s with this in mind that a series of guidance notes have been developed.

It’s essential that everyone involved in our great game makes informed decisions about how they use the internet, social media, mobile phone and email communications – particularly when children and young people are involved.

Guidance for Parents/Guardians

Whilst the internet brings many benefits and opportunities it also opens up some new risks and challenges.

That’s why The FA has teamed up with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre to promote online safety and vigilance.

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

   - Ensure you are aware of how coaches, managers and other members of the club or league should communicate with your child.

   - Show an interest in the communications between the club, you and your child.  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 under 13 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 date of birth 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 child.

   - 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/guardian 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/guardians, 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.

   If your child receives images or messages which are offensive, threatening or unsuitable please copy and save them 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 child report it directly to CEOP and speak to the Club Welfare Officer as soon as possible.

Look at the guidance offered by CEOP.  They provide guidance for parents/guardians, children and young people on how to stay safe online.   

This can be found via:



Guidance for Under 18s


Mobile technology is a key part of everyday life including how and where you can find information about football. Whether it’s about professional teams you follow or your own team or club it’s a great way to get and share information.

Within football we want you to use social networks, the internet, texts and email safely to get the information you need. We have produced the guidance below to keep us all safe and to ensure that we respect each other:

Tell an adult you trust about any communications that make you feel uncomfortable or that asks you not to tell your parent/guardian.

Know who from your club should be contacting you and how they should be contacting you.

You can talk to your club’s Welfare officer if you are unhappy about anything sent to you or said about you over the internet, social networking sites, text messages or via email.

Don’t post, host, text or email things that are hurtful, insulting, offensive, abusive, threatening or racist as this would go against football rules and could also be against the law.

Don’t give out personal details including mobile numbers, email addresses or social networking account access to people you don’t know well offline.

Facebook has different ‘set up’ guidelines for under 18s to help to keep you safe – use them.

Even if you get on with your coach, manager, club officials, adult referees or mentors, don’t invite them to become your friends online.   They have been asked not to accept such invitations.

Tell an adult you trust if an adult involved at your club or within refereeing asks you to become their friend online and inform your club Welfare Officer.

If you receive an image or message which you find offensive, threatening or upsetting tell an adult you trust.   Make sure you copy and save the image/message elsewhere or print it off before you remove and destroy it because this may be needed as evidence.

You can also report concerns directly to the police.

If you want to know more about how to keep safe online:

(Revised May 2019)