Sport and those who run it have an important duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of young participants. This text presents the findings of a unique research project into the experiences of a wide range of stakeholders in contemporary youth soccer, exploring crucial issues of child protection, social policy, and the culture and governance of sport. It covers:

  • The youth soccer context — twenty-first century family life, the sports policy background, and the organisation, governance and culture of the English game
  • Research findings — the experiences of children and young people, parents and carers, coaches, teachers, referees, Child Protection Officers, Football Development Officers, and those involved in women’s, disability and professional soccer
  • Issues in social policy research — methodological, ethical and management challenges
  • Conclusions and implications — the benefits and limitations of different approaches to the protection of children and young people in sport.

For researchers, professionals and decision-makers, this text provides important new insight into the impact of child protection policies, and into the potential for evidence-based practice in youth sport.

chapter |6 pages


part |2 pages

Part I Context

part |2 pages

Part II Findings

chapter |12 pages

Children and young people

chapter |13 pages

Parents and carers

chapter |14 pages


chapter |14 pages

The Professional Game

chapter |11 pages


chapter |13 pages

School teachers

chapter |13 pages

The women’s game

chapter |15 pages


part |2 pages

Part III Reflections